Sunday, September 13, 2015


6 x 8"
oil on panel

I chose Pablo Picasso for the letter P in my series ArtistZ - how could I not?

Picasso is the most-recognized, most-influential painter of the 20th century - I could devote an entire week's worth of posts talking about him, his work, his fame, his womanizing, his long life.  Rather than do that,  I'll tell you why I chose Picasso and why I chose 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'.

Picasso was born in Spain but spent most of his life in France.  He was a painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramicist and stage designer.  He lived to the age of 91, spent 80 of those years devoted to creating art.  He is known for his 'blue period' and 'rose period' by many - he was co-founder of Cubism, with his fellow artist and friend Georges Braque

Which brings me to why I chose, what some consider, the most-influential painting of the 20th century - 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', which hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Originally titled 'The Brothel of Avignon',  it depicts five nude prostitutes in sharp, geometric shapes, distorted, broken apart in places on a large 96 x 92" canvas.  It's considered the precursor of Cubism - it freaked out the art world in 1907, if you can imagine.

My mom, as I've mentioned, was a painter - she loved Picasso.  The cubism style fascinated her, his influence of African/Primitivism appealed to her and carried into her paintings and carvings.  She had tons of books on Picasso, always open, often cut up and pinned on her easel.

My favorite paintings are Guernica

which I've never seen in person, and 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', which I've seen several times at MOMA - both are immense, powerful works of art.  If you are inclined to want to know more, here's a good article, written in 2007 in Newsweek, 100 years after Les Demoiselles was presented to the world.

1 comment:

Bruce Docker said...

There's just something about seeing those paintings that you like in person. In my 20s I took a train to Chicago. Seeing the post impressionist paintings like that, up close, was a big deal. Always enjoy your work.