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Magritte (World of Art) Paperback – 6 May 1985

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (6 May 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500201994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500201992
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a well written book that examines the life and work of Magritte. The writer lived in Magritte's house for six months in the sixties and consequently the book gives the extra dimension of personal knowledge of the artist. The only down side of this edition is that most of the pictures discussed are in b&w with only a few colour plates. Overall though I would recomend that this is the definitive text to be read about Magritte, and if you want to see the pictures in colour then buy a good coffee table art book. But read this.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably one of the best biography I've ever read in the last years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ea8751c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ebf2c0c) out of 5 stars Great for beginner art lovers as well as experts-Fast read! 16 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book illustrates the reader through Magritte's life while giving background to the works. I read this book for fun and subsequently decided to study Magritte in school. It discusses surrealism as a whole as well as the historical context of Magritte's work. This book got me hooked on Magritte!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec070d8) out of 5 stars Top Quality Reproductions, Good Value for Money 25 Aug. 2004
By Jenny Gilford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a book offering lengthy and in-depth discussions about Magritte and his paintings, then this isn't the book for you. If, on the other hand, you are primarily interested in seeing good quality reproductions of a selection of his work, then this is an excellent choice.

Although there is a decent several-page overview of Magritte at the start of the book, the main focus is the 48 full-page reproductions, each accompanied by a brief commentary. These commentaries do not offer much, but I personally am not really interested in someone else's interpretations of an artist's pictures, and Magritte himself said there was no 'required' interpretation for his paintings anyway.

The book was a real 'grower' for me - some of the pictures that I didn't initially like I came to love over time - I feel they can have the power to speak to you very personally, and as a consequence this is a book I keep coming back to.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9efc015c) out of 5 stars The Treachery of Images Continues... 20 Nov. 2012
By Michael P. Naughton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"We are surrounded by curtains. We only perceive the world behind a curtain of semblance. At the same time, an object needs to be covered in order to be recognized at all." -- Rene Magritte

I had the pleasure of seeing Magritte on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2006. The exhibit was entitled, "The Treachery of Images," and it toyed with many of Magritte's most famous surrealist images. Further intrigued, it was Suzi Gablik's book that I subsequently picked up. As Suzi Gablik explains in her Preface, she met Magritte and his wife in 1959 and that visit resulted in an eight month stay and what would become this monograph (book). Included are excellent essays on Pop and Surrealism, The Human Condition and The Use of Words, not to mention the myriad illustrations. She lifts this curtain in concise and detailed accuracy.

In life, Magritte maintained an inconspicuous presence unlike the vainglorious and flamboyant Salvador Dali whose personality was as famous as his paintings.

The Magritte paintings I find of particular interest are the paintings within paintings: "Evening Falls" and "Le Seducteur" (The Seducer) are two of my personal favorites because of his brilliant blend of inside and outside mental phenomena. He teaches us a new way to see and interpret the mysterious world around us. His influence can even be seen in pop culture, take for instance, Jeff Beck's Beck-Ola (Exp) or the scene with Johnny Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexicothat harkens back to Magritte's "The Magician" in my opinion.

Freud once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar..." Not so with Magritte. If he said, "This is not a pipe," the journey would begin there. A jumping off point. He was always on the lookout for what has never been. The treachery continues...

We will never forget the Bowler-Hatted man and his work. At least, I know I won't.
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