Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes New E-book

Magritte's Labyrinth Ellen Handler Spitz

A new e-book published by Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz analyzes the artwork of Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte and takes on questions that are rarely asked when studying Magritte’s work. The book, entitled “Magritte’s Labyrinth,” introduces a psychological perspective and examines the emotional impact of Magritte’s paintings. Below is an excerpt from a book review posted on Amazon.com:

Trained in art history, philosophy, and nonclinical psychoanalysis, Ellen Handler Spitz, the author of “Magritte’s Labyrinth,” was introduced to Magritte’s art by a New York psychologist who studied bereavement in childhood. Spitz found the images impossible to expunge. She reflects on them psychologically. She analyzes their subtle engagement with conflict, anxiety, and fear. She reads their humor and pathos as veils that both mask and disclose uncomfortable themes. “Magritte’s Labyrinth” offers its readers intriguing ways to understand their own idiosyncratic responses to this mysterious and fascinating art.

Spitz is the author of six books on the arts and psychology: “Art and Psyche” (Yale); “Image and Insight” (Columbia); “Museums of the Mind” (Yale); “Inside Picture Books” (Yale); “The Brightening Glance” (Pantheon); and “Illuminating Childhood” (Michigan). Her most recent research focuses on children’s aesthetic lives. She will be presenting two lectures next week in Germany. She will be discussing childhood and space at the University of Siegen and will also be giving a talk in Bielefeld.