Alex Danchev, Magritte: A Life – Profile, November 2021
‘The first significant biography of the artist’ Michael Prodger, The Times’ ‘Best art books of 2021’
‘For those who love Magritte and those who do not, Danchev’s biography will come as a revelation’ Literary Review
‘[A] monumental biography of the inimitable surrealist artist … sure to be the definitive account of the extraordinary artist’s life’ Publishers Weekly
The first major biography for our time, from the celebrated biographer of Cézanne
René Magritte’s surreal sensibility, deadpan melodrama, and fine-tuned outrageousness have all become inescapably part of our times. But these groundbreaking subversions all came from a middle-class Belgian gent, who kept a modest house in a Brussels suburb and whose first one-man show sold absolutely nothing.
Through a deep examination of Magritte’s friendships and his artistic development, Alex Danchev explores the path of an highly unconventional artist who posed profound questions about the relationship between image and reality, challenged the very nature of authenticity and whose influence can be seen in the work of everyone from Jasper Johns to Beyoncé.