1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 39: Magritte, by Jacques Meuris

I’m not an art expert, though I do, as an English major, have a strong understanding of modern and postmodern theory, and so do have a set of tools with which to approach art, but on the whole, I highly recomend you not listen to me when it comes to art.  Magritte is one of many artists in particular that I have always enjoyed, perhaps because his work is so textual and literal (by which I mean of letters).  He has a stong understanding of symbols and the signified and the relationship betweent the two, and knows how to maximizes juxataposition.  So, hoping to gain a deeper insight to his work I picked up a copy of Magritte, by Jaques Meruis.  Initially the book starts off as a biogrpahy of sorts, offering insights into aspects of Magritte’s personal life as a youth, a history that includes finding his mother’s corpse floating in the water near his house after she had committed suidice much in the same way that Virginia Woolf had.  The rest of the novel is more a biography of Margitte’s work.  Not being as familiar with all the artistic movements and theory as I would like to be, I was more than a little lost at times, but always interested.  I was hoping for either a biographical book and tied his work in with his life (which the first chapter seemed very much to be about), or a painting-by-paining analysis of Magritte’s work.  The book is neither, though that does not mean I wasnt satisfied by it.  It is a Taschen publication, and as such is filled with glossed page and many of Magritte’s work, which are a joy to look at and examine.  And as far as art books go, this is relatively thorough in respects to Margitte’s work, and also relatively inexpensive (I paid less than twenty dollars at Indigo).  so for those of you hoping to read about Magritte’s personal life, or for those who are hoping to read critical analysis or responces to Magritte’s work, this book will not fulfill your desire, but for those looking for an affordable and relatively comprehensive book featuring Magritte’s work, this book is very much what you are looking for.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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