Art: Be Charming

Surrealist pictures sometimes leave gallery-goers with the uneasy suspicion that the joke is on them. Last week a surrealist one-man show in Manhattan gave onlookers the pleasure of being in on the laughs. The paintings, by a dour little Belgian named René Magritte, have Salvador Dali's technical perfection but none of Dali's tiresome bag of Freudian tricks. Sample Magritte subjects: a fountain—as cool and wet-looking as the real thing—which spouts crystal mirrors, crowns, hands and cornucopias; a cigar box puffing a cigar; a door, set up against the sky, opening to admit a cloud; a glassy-eyed nude crammed into a bottle,...

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