Pablo (Ruiz y) Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish artist, born at Málaga.
In 1901 Picasso painted in Montmartre, Paris, during his so-called blue period (1901-4). This produced a series of satirical, tragic pictures focusing on the poor, the anguished and the lonely.
Next was the pink period (1904-6). A celebration of life, this period depicted young nudes and that great 20th century spectacle, the circus.
Picasso’s innovative bent lead him toward Cubism (rendering three-dimensions without perspective). The most critical step in creating this new school was probably taken with the completion of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).
With Georges Braque, Picasso went on to develop Cubism from 1909 to 1914. In 1917 Picasso was a set and costume designer for Sergei Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet.
WW-I sparked an interest in detail and color, after which Picasso entered his classical period (1920-25).
A professed communist, Picasso’s work was nevertheless condemned as ‘decadent’ by many in the USSR. As his companion Françoise Gilot, put it:
In Russia, they hated his work but liked his politics. In America, they hated his politics but liked his work (cited in “Picasso’s Party Line” by Hugh Eakin, Senior Editor, artnews.com, November 2000).
Picasso, man of many talents, also illustrated classical literary works and explored sculpture, pottery and lithography. Often seen as the greatest of modern artists, his unmistakable style reverberates throughout art, literature and psychology.
Well some people try to pick up girls
They get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
Girls could not resist his stare
So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Not like you
Picasso may not have been called an “asshole.” But in Nazi occupied France, the Gestapo harassed him regularly.
During the Second World War, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city. Picasso’s artistic style did not fit the Nazi ideal of art, so he did not exhibit during this time. He was often harassed by the Gestapo. During one search of his apartment, an officer saw a photograph of the painting Guernica. “Did you do that?” the German asked Picasso. “No,” he replied, “You did”.²
What a perfect response to authoritarians and disturbed individuals who blame the victim. We all have something to learn from Picasso in the 21st century. If not in art, in the art of living.
Related » Surrealism
Pablo Picasso – Wikipedia – 18 Highlights with LINER for skeletal outline and additional asides.
He is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.
Before 1900: Picasso’s training under his father began before 1890.
Blue Period: 1901–1904
Rose Period: 1904–1906
African art and primitivism: 1907–1909 See also: Picasso’s African Period and Proto-Cubism
Analytic cubism: 1909–1912
Synthetic cubism: 1912–1919 Main article: Crystal Cubism
Neoclassicism and surrealism: 1919–1929
The Great Depression to MoMA exhibition: 1930–1939
World War II and late 1940s: 1939–1949
Later works to final years: 1949–1973
Picasso’s influence was and remains immense and widely acknowledged by his admirers and detractors alike. On the occasion of his 1939 retrospective at MoMA, Life magazine wrote: “During the 25 years he has dominated modern European art, his enemies say he has been a corrupting influence. With equal violence, his friends say he is the greatest artist alive.”
Throughout his life Picasso maintained several mistresses in addition to his wife or primary partner.
Related » Surrealism