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You are free to choose any work from this course-specific collection of surrealist art from UMMA as the subject for your third essay (Visual Analysis).  You can also search through the UMMA Exchange to find a different work to analyze for your paper -- but in this case, please check in with me first about your intentions.

We will spend some time in class Wednesday, Sep. 30 reviewing and discussing some of the works from this collection, so please come to class with specific observations, questions, and/or reflections in mind to contribute to our conversations.


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Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

The Terror Stopper (Le Bouchon d'Epouvante), Plate VI from the series "Dawn at the Antipode (Aube à l'Antipode)

Accession Number
1968/2.11

Title
The Terror Stopper (Le Bouchon d'Epouvante), Plate VI from the series "Dawn at the Antipode (Aube à l'Antipode)

Artist(s)
René Magritte

Object Creation Date
1966

Medium & Support
etching on paper

Dimensions
7 in (17.78 cm);19 ⅜ in x 14 ⅜ in (49.21 cm x 36.51 cm);15 ¼ in x 11 ⅜ in (38.74 cm x 28.89 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
The bowler hat often sported by conventionally dressed men in Magritte’s paintings appears by itself in this etching. This print is one of seven that accompany a volume of Alain Jouffroy’s earliest group of poems. Written when Jouffroy was nineteen and twenty, the poems first appeared at Breton’s insistence in the Surrealist journal Néon in 1947–1948. They were published in book form only in 1966. For Jouffroy, Magritte was the only artist who could produce images that would capture the sense of reality of the poet’s dreamlike visions. The image of a tall hat ("Chapeau très ‘haut de forme’. . .") in one of the poems in the volume may relate to Magritte’s image. In a deeper sense the artist may have been responding to the strong sense of malaise and anxiety that pervades these poems, written when the young poet was undergoing a period of psychological crisis. The words "Usage externe" (external usage), inscribed on the hat, may relate to the theme of suicide in these poems. At the same time the words seem to contain a witty reflection on the use of hats as external covering. The title of Magritte’s image, Le Bouchon d’Epouvante (The Terror Stopper), may suggest the salutary effects of conventionality on fears that have the potential to incapacitate.
Editions du Soleil Noir in Paris published this illustrated volume. Magritte himself did not etch the printing plates, but he oversaw the work of the master printer at the Atelier Rigal, who translated the artist’s pen and ink drawings into etchings.
Label copy from exhibition "Dreamscapes: The Surrealist Impulse," August 22 - October 25, 1998

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Surrealism
bowler
modern and contemporary art
words

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved