From men in bowler hats, floating in the sky, to a painting of a pipe above the caption “this is not a pipe”, René Magritte (1898-1967) created an echo chamber of object and image, name and thing, reality and representation.
Like other Surrealist works, Magritte’s paintings combine a precise, mimetic technique with abnormal, alienating configurations which defy the laws of scale, logic, and science: a comb the size of a wardrobe, rocks that float in the sky, clouds that drift through an open door. The result is a direct yet disorientating realm, often witty, often unsettling, and always prompting us to look beyond the visible, to “what is hidden by what we see.”
This introductory book explores Magritte’s vast repertoire of visual humor, paradox, and surprise which to this day makes us look and look again, not only at the painting, but at our sense of self and the world.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions