Magritte: Attempting the Impossible

Magritte: Attempting the Impossible

4.61 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$85.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


The ongoing relevance of Belgian painter Rene 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. Magrittes 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. Featuring more than 300 works, it contains much unpublished material and includes chapters covering Magrittes photography, drawings and influence on German and American contemporary art.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 Magrittes marriage and friendships, the phases of his work (from his sunlit Renoir period and his periode 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.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 324 pages
  • 274 x 336 x 38mm | 2,721.54g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 429 illustrations, 386 in colour
  • 1933045930
  • 9781933045931
  • 264,560

Rating details

26 ratings
4.61 out of 5 stars
5 65% (17)
4 31% (8)
3 4% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X