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Transcript of Picasso
Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Spain. His father, José Ruiz y Blasco, was an artist who specialized in naturalistic pictures of birds and other game. Picasso's father was a professor at a fine arts school and a museum curator. José formally trained Pablo while he was a very young boy. Picasso enjoyed drawing, creating a great deal of art as a young child. His first word was "piz, piz" which is the shortened version of the word "lapiz" meaning pencil. He didn't begin painting until 1894 at the age of twelve.
Picasso did not thrive in a formal educational institution, he had a greater focus on art than on traditional studies. At the age of thirteen Picasso's father witnessed him painting and decided that his son had surpassed him in artistic talent. José decided then that he would quit painting. That same year Picasso lost his seven year old sister and their family subsequently moved to Barcelona, Spain. There Picasso applied to an academy of fine arts and was admitted. His strong focus on arts negatively effected the rest of his school work.
Picasso's father rented him a room in which he could work alone, but José paid visits regularly to check on Picasso and critique his work. The two argued frequently. At the age of sixteen Pablo's father and uncle agreed to send him to the leading art school in the country, Royal Academy of San Fernando. He dropped out of school shortly after enrolling because of his lack of interest in a disciplined education.
While in Madrid, Picasso was inspired by the art that he was exposed to, namely that of El Greco. El Greco was a predecessor to cubism and expressionism. He was known for bringing together byzantine and western styles of painting. Techniques that Picasso admired included: elongated figures, phantasmagorical pigmentation, eye-catching colors, and mystical visages.
Picasso's first great painting was "First Communion", which represented his late sister Lola. "Portrait of Aunt Pepa" came later that year. It is said that during the years of 1899 and 1900, Picasso produced works in his own version of modernism.
Picasso made his first trip to Paris in 1901. The period from 1901-1904 is known as Picasso's "Blue Period" in which he uses solely cold colors such as blue and green to paint. There is a running theme of blindness in Picasso's paintings during this time. The period began shortly after, and was influenced by, the untimely death of his friend Carlos Casagemas. Carlos is said to be depicted in some of Picasso's works during this "Blue Period".
1904 was a transitional year for Picasso. This is when the "Rose Period" began, and it lasted through 1906. During the "Rose Period" Picasso traded in his blue and green paints for warmer colors such as pink and orange. The change occurred when he met Fernande Oliver, a french model, featured in his painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The two met in a storm at Picasso's residence, the famous, Le Bateau-Lavoir.
Picasso and Braque began to study, develop, and expand upon Cézanne's ideas. They began breaking objects and scenes down to their bare elements and analyzing them, this is known as Analytic Cubism. They also explored Cézanne's idea of binocular vision and simultaneous perspective. The two studied lighting and perspective deeply, while questioning the norms accepted and expected from art in society at the time. Cubism often depicts objects reduced to a cube. Louis Vauxcelles referred to this new type of art as "bizarre cubiques" meaning "full of little cubes". It wasn't until 1911 that the name "Cubism" appeared.
From 1935-1959 Picasso wrote 300 poems. Most of them untitled, other than the date. Many of the poems were erotic or were about the sense of taste. He also tried his hand at ballet and play writing. His later works include many sculptures, such as Chicago Picasso (unveiled in 1967). Picasso turned down the $100,000 that he was to be paid for the sculpture, giving it instead as a gift to the people. He produced copious amounts of copper etches in the following years. As he got older he decided to reinterpret famous works of art. He also began to be more expressive and colorful in his works (1968-1971).
Following the "Rose Period" Picasso went through a short phase known as his "African-Influenced Period" from 1907-1909. This can be seen in the two faces on the right hand side in his painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The faces on the right appear as African tribal masks. Other works from this period also depict African artifacts. This period lead directly to the cubist movement.
Picasso, along with friend Georges Braque began to delve into the work of Paul Cézanne. Cézanne was interested in binocular vision and expressing different perspectives in the same image. He used planes of color and small brushstrokes to create intricate fields. Cézanne is known for his technique of breaking natural shapes down to their most basic geometrical components. Picasso and Braque referred to Cézanne as "the father of us all".
Le Bateau-Lavoir was a residence for many famous artists in the early 20th century and is known to some as "the birthplace of cubism". The name "Le Bateau-Lavoir" translates to "The Boat Wash", named for how the building swayed in windy storms. The building burned down in 1970, only the facade remained. It was rebuilt in 1977.
The "Rose Period" features many acrobats and harlequins. This time had a fairly upbeat attitude and started to resemble paintings that Picasso had dome prior to the "Blue Period". As it turns out, some of Picasso's ancestors were acrobats. The harlequin became a symbol for Picasso at this time.
Picasso then made a brief return to classic artistic techniques. During this "Neoclassical Period" Picasso made works that resembled that of Raphael and Ingres.
During the 1930s Pablo went through his "Surrealist Period". During this time his symbol changed from the harlequin to the minotaur. The minotaur is depicted in many of his works from this period, most notably "Guernica" which depicts the bombing of Guernica, Spain. The collage speaks of the inhumanity and brutality of war.
"Synthetic Cubism" came in around in 1912. This technique took simplifying geometric shapes to an extreme and was more abstract that analytic cubism. Some forms were made from cut paper, usually wallpaper or news paper, pieced together to form shapes and figures. This is the first use of collage in fine art.
Presentation by Kelsey Fry
The Early Years
The Early Years