on 27 November 2009
Typical of the World series this book is instructive and stuffed full of illustrations mainly black and white,interspersed with some colour plates.Excellent critique by Suzi Gablik and it is well researched and reveals some gems along with the more well known aspects of the artist.Most illuminating is a piece called 'Lifeline' in Appendix II which reveals some fascinating insights into both the artists thinking as well as childhood memories that have influenced him.
Throughout the book we share Magritte's constant questioning of how the viewer looks at works of art. He recognised that there is often a knee jerk reaction on a viewer's part to interpret when there may be no meaning intended on the part of the artist. His work constantly questions the location of the visual field. Is the outside world an extension of the individual's inner world? What then does the painting really represent? What creates an object and what gives it meaning? These questions are at the root of the absurd relationships he sets up with seemingly unrelated objects in his paintings.But we learn in fact the often surreal associations that they suggest on deeper levels. In essence Magritte's work deeply questions how the individual creates the world,both inner and outer.
A must read for anyone who has wanted to know more about where Magritte was coming from. Ideal for the layman and art historian alike.