Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Picasso painted as he lived

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Picasso 1926-1939: From Minotaur to GuernicaPicasso 1926-1939: From Minotaur to Guernica by Josep Palau i Fabre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Picasso 1926-1939: from Minotaur to Guernica, Josep Palau I Fabre tracked and linked Picasso's daily output of paintings, drawings, etchings, scultptures, collages, poems and other artwork reflecting almost a chronology of his intimate, private and at times public life. A Herculean task, Palau i Fabre provides unusual insights into the creative dynamics and cultural process that is named Picasso. Covering approximately 12 years of Picasso's life and work, Palau documents over 1300 pieces of art produced by Picasso. From the monumental piece "Guernica," including dozens of preparatory pieces that are masterpieces in and of themselves, to pencil drawings on pieces of matchboxes, Palau highlights the connections and the circuits between Picasso's art and the women in his life. "Guernica" was a commissioned painting (about 11 by 25 feet) that became a homage to the city namesake that was carpet bombed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and a continuing outcry against all war.

In From Minotaur to Guernica, Palau shows how Picasso wove his personal struggles into his artwork and in the process made art and culture that took on a life of their own. Palau links Picasso's art to Picasso's daily strife and tribulations, marriage, love affairs, politics, cultural developments, interpersonal relationships, war and nationality.

Picasso created a new way of seeing art, transforming and creating new spatial dimensions or illusions on a canvass. Picasso's art and life still continue turning heads, being contradictory, controversial, contorted, communist even, utopian, cubist, cartoonish, animated, childish, whole, full, intoxicating. Picasso showed that you can edit an image, much like a writer cuts and pastes words or sentences, and rework an idea over and over, with each iteration a stand alone piece. Fascinatingly detailed, this book is for individuals that want to learn from Picasso's method, his contributions that continuing impacting artistic production.

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