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Pablo Picasso




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Probably, no other artist is more associated with the term Modern Art than Pablo Picasso. For ones, Picasso is the greatest art genius of the twentieth century; for others he is a gifted charlatan. Pablo Picasso was born the son of an art teacher and not surprisingly, displayed enormous talents at a very early age. He was a painter, a sculptor, a ceramist and a graphic artist. In fact, he was a master of any medium or art form he chose to try his hand at. To call Picasso a master artist would be a great understatement, for the man created a staggering number of paintings, sculptures and drawings.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) - a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramicist. He is the foremost figure in 20th century art, a leader of the School of Paris. He was remarkable for his technical virtuosity and incredible originality. He was admitted to the Royal Academy of Barcelona at 14 and later moved to Paris, where he remained until 1947, then moving to the South of France.
During his lifetime, the artist went through different periods of characteristic painting styles. The Blue Period of Picasso lasted from about 1900 to 1904. It is characterized by the use of different shades of blue underlining the melancholic style of his subjects - people from the grim side of life with thin, half-starved bodies. His painting style during these years is masterly and convinces even those who reject his later modern style. During Picasso's Rose Period from about 1905 to 1906, his style moved away from the Blue Period to a friendly pink tone with subjects taken from the world of the circus.

Inspired by the works of Paul Cezanne Picasso, along with Georges Braque succeeded in his attempts to create a revolutionary new art form, Cubism, where subjects are reduced to basic geometrical shapes. These two artists let the art world know and see that several points of view of an object could be viewed at one time. In a later version of Cubism, called synthetic cubism, several views of an object or a person are shown simultaneously from a different perspective in one picture. In addition, they put forward the idea of spatial reconstruction and they expressed perfectly the idea that even though depth could be "faked", painting is a 2-dimensional art form.

His second landmark work was Guernica, an impassioned condemnation of war and fascism. In his later years, Picasso turned to creations of fantasy and comic invention. Picasso's Guernica is a huge mural on canvas in black, white and grey which was created for the Spanish Pavilion of the Paris World's Fair in 1937. In Guernica, Picasso used symbolic forms - that are repeatedly found in his works following Guernica - like a dying horse or a weeping woman.
Guernica was exhibited at the museum of Modern Art in New York until 1981. It was transferred to the Prado Museum in Madrid in 1981 and was later moved to the Queen Sofia Center of Art, Madrid in 1992. Picasso had disallowed the return of Guernica to Spain until the end of the rule of Fascism by General Franco.

There are numerous books and articles with anectodes, citations and interviews by Picasso. It is hard to figure out what is real and what are inventions or fakes. Picasso did not seem to care too much what the press wrote about him as long as they wrote about him at all. Whether by intuition or carefully planned, he was a marketing genius, spinning his own legend at lifetime.

Picasso had an excellent business sense. He paid even small amounts by check: "People rather keep the check for my famous signature than to cash it." He enjoyed being famous and rich. He was charming and witty and he liked to confuse, to provoke and to have his fun with the public. Working consistently in sculpture, ceramics, and the graphic arts, he continued to explore his personal vision until his death at age 93. Picasso had created a total of more than 20,000 art objects during his lifetime - enough to keep the art market for his works in continuous movement.

Web: www.museupicasso.bcn.es

Copyright 2009 Grupo Imago Grupo Imago

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