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Posts tagged Picasso

Femme-fleur and the biographical

Even if you don’t care greatly about Picasso, I recommend the Charlie Rose interview with Françoise Gilot, who lived ten years with the man. A talented artist herself, and very independent-minded, Gilot frequently discussed art with Picasso. Much of what he said about how he worked has come to us through her. For example, regarding the rather complex, high cubist paintings, he said than in the “early stages” there were almost no “references to natural forms…I painted them in afterwards.” Braque had a similar working procedure. Rather than abstract from an initial representation of a scene, these cubists–at least for a time as their approach evolved–roughly laid out their abstract, faceted spaces and forms, then filled in enough clues to suggest the subject. Those clues could appear in rather disconnected spots. I believe it was the dealer Kahnweiler who said they had developed a way to free objects, showing that they existed without showing where they were located.
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Cubism creation myths

My hazy recollection is that I  first heard cubism explained as a style that showed multiple points of view in a single painting. That may be fairly typical of the popular conception of what cubism is. But since one often has difficulty even telling what the subject is, it’s pretty clear that maximizing information conveyed was not the main motivation for Picasso, Braque, and company. I’ve long felt that I didn’t really have much grasp of what cubism really was, of what the artists cared about and thought about. Following are some snippets I’ve encountered, in no particular order.

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