THIS IS NOT AN ART REVIEW
NOVEMBER 21, 2006
Hot on the heels of Santa Monica Museum’s tightly curated and visually spectacular pairing of Giorgio de Chirico and Philip Guston in “Enigma Variations” comes its sprawling, ambitious doppelgänger at LACMA, “Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images.” Not only is René Magritte known for the very sort of hauntingly insoluble pictorial puzzles that were de Chirico’s stock in trade, but he basically arrived at that point in an uncanny parallel to Guston — seeing a de Chirico reproduction and abandoning his previous oeuvre of nonrepresentational abstraction. The premises of the two shows are fundamentally similar — tracing the older artist’s influence on a younger generation. Except instead of one painter engaged in a lifelong dialogue with another, “Treachery” delivers 31 artists working in a variety of media (including Guston), often with only a tenuous or indirect link to Magritte’s imagery or conceptual concerns.