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Distributed Art Publishers
About the Author
Rene Magritte was born RenT Frantois-Ghislain Magritte in 1898 in Belgium. In March of 1912, Magritte's mother killed herself by jumping into the river Sambre. The next year, the young artist met his future wife, Georgette Berger; the year after that he enrolled as a pupil at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In the early 1920s, Magritte served in the military, married Georgette, and worked as a graphic artist, primarily drawing motifs for wallpaper. De Chirico provided a strong, early influence. Magritte's first painting, a portrait of singer Evelyne BrTlia, was sold in 1923, and his first surrealist work, Le Jockey Perdu, was painted in 1926. His first exhibition was held in 1927; soon thereafter, he and Georgette moved near Paris and began to meet other surrealists like Miró, Eluard, and Arp. His relationships with the surrealists only deepened over the following years: Magritte published his work in various surrealist journals, vacationed with the Dalis, and exhibited with Edward James. At different points during his mature career, he dramatically changed his painting style, only to return to his original surrealist ways. Magritte died in 1967.
A picture of a pipe is not really a pipe, and a daylight-filled sky can shine over a streetlamp-lit townhouse, and a painting of a window inside a painting of a sitting room can be the window in that sitting room, and a room-sized rock can gaze out of that room at the sea, and, of course, a man is a suit can have a green apple for a face. At least, that is, in the world of Magritte. And who wouldn't want to believe in that world, or at least take pleasure in the ability to recognize parts of it in our own? One of the most charming and beloved of the surrealists, RenT Magritte took a light, witty paintbrush and created a world both familiar and not--but always recognizable in our dreams. His plays on semiotics, identity, the idea of woman, the possibilities inherent in objects, and the idea that everything was not necessarily what it seemed--or what it was supposed to be--are celebrated here in an intelligent retrospective monograph, featuring more than 150 paintings, sculptures, objects, and works on paper. The organization of this catalogue paints Magritte as an innovator, and an artist who has had significant influence on contemporary creators. Accompanying essays, including an introduction by Alain Robbe-Grillet, inventor of the nouveau roman, consider Magritte's influence on modern and contemporary art. Magritte's relationships with his surrealist contemporaries Louis Scutenaire and AndrT Breton, and the art dealers Edward James and Alexandre Iolas, are each revealed through individual art historical texts and a selection of unpublished letters. An illustrated chronology is included as well. This catalogue is published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris.
My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question "What does that mean?" It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable. --RenT Magritte
Essays by Jean Roudaut, Patrick Roegiers, Daniel Abadie, Jean-Michel Goutier, Bernard Noël, Sarah Whitefeld and Renilde Hammacher.
Introduction Alain Robbe-Grillet.
Hardcover, 8.5 x 10.5 in., 272 pages, 220 color & 30 b/w illustrations