It is impossible to overlook the influence of René Magritte (1898-1967) on contemporary art. His surrealistic painting turns the usual order of things ironically on its head, thus restoring mystery to a world that has lost its magic.
His work typically conveys a sense of the amazing, the surprising, and the ridiculous—but also the unsettling. Without a specific message, Magritte’s paintings nonetheless speak to us, creating a connection between opposites on an associative level. Thus a dinner roll can, with complete naturalness, fly past a barred dungeon opening.
In discussing his art, Magritte spoke of "inspired thoughts": he was indeed a painter-philosopher who thought in pictorial form and moved with seemingly playful lightness in the exalted atmosphere of his own imagination.
Marcel Paquet(1947–2014) obtained his doctorate in 1978 from the Free University of Brussels with a thesis entitled La différence des penseés de Kant et de Hegel dans la question de l’essence de l’art. He published a number of books on such subjects as Paul Delvaux, Fernando Botero, and Hans Bellmer.
About the series
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