This revelatory examination of the Surrealist master updates prevailing theories about Magritte’s life and beliefs, and offers a surprising new assessment of an artist who strived for anonymity rather than fame.
Throughout his career, Magritte subverted expectations about artists in the world by disguising himself as an unremarkable member of the bourgeoisie. While the public mined his work for symbolism and deep meaning, the truth is, that with Magritte, what you see is what you get. What readers will get with this gorgeous volume is a deeply engaging overview of Magritte’s entire career, and an eloquent argument that his Surrealist masterpieces were simply an extension of the Romantic tradition. Chronologically arranged, this volume features fullpage reproductions of thirty-five works, each paired with a concise text that highlights its significance in Magritte’s catalog. In addition to greatest hits, such as Time Transfixed, 1938; The Treachery of Images, 1929; and The Lovers, 1928, the inclusion of several lesser-known works provides an overview of the range and character of Magritte’s art. Readers will become acquainted with the main figures in the artist’s life, including relatives, colleagues, rivals, and they will see how Magritte’s relationships with collectors and dealers led to the production of particular works, as well as how his theories about painting evolved over the years. Across this compact but utterly satisfying book, Magritte’s exquisite use of color, his grasp of collage and composition, and his superb gifts for invention and mood are luminously and thrillingly in evidence.