Magritte: Attempting the Impossible

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9781933045931: Magritte: Attempting the Impossible

The ongoing relevance of Belgian painter René Magritte may lie in the semiotic character of his work and its ability to create chasms between the world, its surfaces and the signs we use to occupy it. Magritte's paintings offer a space for the viewer to contemplate the emptiness of signs and to locate that emptiness in a world we recognize--indeed, the artist relies on the props of normalcy in order to upend, invert and collapse them into the terra incognita where life leaves off and art begins. "The mind loves the unknown," he avowed, "it loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown." In Attempting the Impossible we have a new definitive Magritte monograph, replacing David Sylvester's volume of the early 1990s. Featuring more than 300 works, it contains much unpublished material and includes chapters covering Magritte's photography, drawings and influence on German and American contemporary art. Each chapter opens with a close reading of a key work--such as "The Treachery of Images" ("This is not a pipe") of 1928-29--and a reconstruction of its intellectual and historical contexts. Art historian Siegfried Gohr examines Magritte's marriage and friendships, the phases of his work (from his sunlit Renoir period and his "période vache" to his bright and visually arresting postwar work, which had such an influence on the advertising industry), the Belgian roots of his wit and sensibility and his word paintings and investigations into the paradoxes of representation.

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"The Bauhaus, that noble experiment in Germany between the world wars that in many ways ushered us into the modern world... This exhibit isn't like most art shows its like entering a whole world everywhere you turn you're struck by a dizzying array of paintings and sculpture, films and photographs... And the illuminating and thoroughly detailed catalogue, it weighs five pounds, gives you a pretty substantial impression of how profoundly prescient those artists were." --NPR, Loyd Shwartz

"This extremely well-illustrated tour de force combines new research with unique organization... Gohr's book reminds readers that excellent art never ceases to provide new avenues for investigation, through both research and careful visual examination of the art as primary document. Summing Up: Highly recommended." --CHOICE, January 2010 (E. K. Mix, Butler University)

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Book Description Book Condition: New. The mind loves the unknown,' Rene Magritte avowed, 'it loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.' This definitive Magritte monograph features more than 300 works and contains much unpublished material. Chapters cover Magritte's photography and drawings, the Belgian roots of his wit and sensibility, the phases of his work, his influence on German and American art, and his marriage and friendships. Each opens with a close reading of a key work and a reconstruction of its intellectual and historical contexts. Bookseller Inventory # 2506

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Book Description D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG1933045930

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