Painter, designer, sculptor, photographer and director, Magritte is currently considered one of the most important exponents of Surrealism. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1916-18) where he began painting in an impressionist style. He exhibited his first works in 1919, the year in which he became interested in Futurism and, at the beginning of the 20s, he moved towards formal Abstraction through the influence of Cubo-futurism. In this and the following decade, Magritte also designed posters and fashion advertising. He carried out an important role in the foundation of the first Belgian literary Surrealist group. In 1926 and 1927, he had his first one-man show at the Le Centaure Gallery which marked his definitive emergence as a Surrealist artist. Magritte created standardized figures, especially favouring the man in the bowler hat. It was in the second half of the 20s that Magritte established the basis for the style and iconography that would be present in all his future production. Until the end of the 30s, he continued to make frequent use of abstracts forms, mainly in the paintings which included texts. His reputation steadily increased during the 60s, and his influence on the generations of Conceptual and Pop artists is extremely clear. Between 1960 and 1967, major retrospectives of his work were organised in the United States, Germany, Holland and Sweden and, in 1996 and 1998, in Düsseldorf and Brussels. Magritte took part in all the major Surrealist exhibitions and maintained a leading position in the movement. His representation of everyday objects avoids the illusion of reality and tries to reveal hidden mysteries.