Ren%C3%A9 Magritte: Newly Discovered Works: Catalogue Raisonn%C3%A9 VI

Edited by Sarah Whitfield. Mercatorfonds, with the Menil Foundation and the Magritte Foundation (Yale Univ., dist.), $65 (164p) ISBN 978-0-300-18875-2
Representing works authenticated by the Comité Magritte from 2000-2010, this collection comprises oils, gouaches, and drawings that provide a more complete picture of the Surrealist's prodigious output. While there is minimal critical discussion, the works are paired with the history of their ownership, as well as speculation about their origins. Previously unattributed oil paintings such as "La récolte des nuages, dominated by a luminous, twilit sky, rendered in blues and greens, and "L'Embellie," which depicts a door, standing alone, opening out into a seascape, complement Magritte's more canonical work. The master's sly, dark humor is certainly evident in "Par une belle fin d'apres-midi," a 1964 gouache, wherein two coffins sit in lively, lighthearted discussion. Included also is a wider array of less polished works: sketches and drawings that are documents of the creative mind at work or illustrations for various publications or gifts to friends. In his letters, Magritte would often include ballpoint renderings of completed works, as in "Letter with sketch of ‘La durée poignardé,'" in which a train-car emerges from a fireplace above an alternately quotidian and poignant note of 1938 to Marcel Mariën. Returning to the motif that made him iconic, Magritte seems to playfully complicate issues of representation in the self-referential "Les deux mystères," (after the painting of the same name) showing a massive pipe levitating above a framed image of "La trahison des images," which declared, famously, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe". Photos & illus. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!