The Metaphoric Bridge

Patterson Webster
The Metaphoric Bridge  2013, 2021
Cedar, acrylic paint, metal chains and hooks

A sign, inscribed in French and English on reverse sides, hangs at each end of a small bridge over a rocky stream. When approached from one direction, the signs read “Ce pont n’est pas” “Une metaphore”; from the other, “This bridge is not” “A metaphor.”

The signs are inspired by La Trahison des images, or The Treachery of Images, a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte of a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” underneath.

This work is another example of the way that the artist uses verbal playfulness to invite contemplation of larger themes, such as the relationship of reality and representation, of appearance and essence (see Perspective, The Past Looms Large and The Forms).