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Magritte by Alex Danchev
Hardcover $45.00
Nov 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780307908193

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“Lavish, authoritative . . . A superb account of one enigmatic, enduring artist, a gratifying addition to our cultural literature, and an ode to modernity’s contradictions . . . We see ourselves in [Magritte’s] compositions, and we are unnerved.” —Hamilton Cain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Danchev’s familiarity with francophone culture and Whitfield’s decades of Magritte expertise shine through in this absorbing, masterful biography . . . Magritte: A Life recounts the artist’s life in a sympathetic and comprehensive manner, never reducing the mystery of one of the most influential of modern artists.” —Alexander Adams, The Art Newspaper

“Far from underestimating Magritte, Danchev’s picture of him is pointillist and enormous in scope. It is full of shock.” —Jo Livingstone, The New Republic

“Thoroughly and gruesomely entertaining . . . Danchev is right to call Magritte ‘the dream merchant of our time.’ Magritte’s studiously underplayed paintings are a modern image bank, and we draw on it unknowingly every time we see the Apple logo . . . A fascinating biography.” —Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal
“Clouds, pipes, bowler hats, umbrellas and green apples: the thought-provoking works of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte continue to fascinate. The late Alex Danchev offers enthralling insight into the man behind the easel.” —The Herald
“Sinuous . . . [Danchev] has uncovered a life that was by turns quirky, controversial, and tinged by tragedy . . . This book leaves no doubt that the image Magritte maintained of himself as a regular citizen living a quiet life in a nondescript Brussels neighborhood was indeed performance art of the highest order.” —Tobias Grey, Airmail

“Diligent and insightful . . . Danchev proved an indefatigable researcher, and Sarah Whitfield does full justice to his labors in completing [the] final chapter of Magritte’s life.” —Tim Adams, The Guardian

“Monumental . . . A fascinating study of a man whose ‘stunning imagination ha[s] revolutionized what we see and how we understand’ . . . Sure to be the definitive account of the extraordinary artist’s life.” —Publishers Weekly

Table Of Contents

List of Illustrations xi
Preface xxv
Introduction xxvii
1. His Secret Jungle 3
2. Normal Madness 31
3. Cupid’s Curse 59
4. The Aura of the Extraordinary 87
5. Charm and Menace 118
6. The Cuckoo’s Egg 154
7. Through the Keyhole 193
8. Surfeit and Subversion 233
9. The True and the False 271
10. 1948–1967 310
Magrittiana: A Note on Sources 353
Acknowledgments 359
Abbreviations 363
Notes 367
Index 419

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