Aesthetics Presentation #6 The Art of Pablo Picasso
A 20 th Century Question: What is art? Each [work of art] represents what the person who made the work and the audience for whom the work was intended believed to be art. Rita Gilbert, Living with Art, p. 18 The Art of Pablo Picasso
Contemporary Art Defies traditional classifications defined by general characteristics What exactly is art? How can we tell what is and what isnt [art]? viewers make up their minds. Rita Gilbert, Living with Art, p. 18 - 20
Art and the Real World Must Art reflect the image of the real world? Artistic License allows the artist to change things from the real world for the sake of the artwork. Sometimes a mirror of the real world would not be the best tool to show the artists message.
Realistic vs. Artistic License Olga Picasso in an Armchair by Pablo Picasso 1917 Dora Maar Sitting by Pablo Picasso 1939
Art and the Real World Only in Western culture has there been the expectation that art should mirror the natural world. This is a legacy from the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
Art and Appearances The assumption that art should faithfully mirror the visible world is difficult for some people to overcome The elevation of art during the Renaissance from a craft to an intellectual pursuit went hand in hand with the discovery of methods for making optically convincing representations Many viewers still feel that the skill of an artist is reflected in the mastery of naturalistic representations
Art and Appearances What did Picasso name as the reason for the dramatic change in 20 th century art? Photography First Communion, Picasso, 1895-96, oil on canvas, 65 3/8 x 46 1/2 Seated Woman Holding a Fan, Picasso, 1908, oil on canvas, 59 x 39 3/8
Art and Appearances After 31,830 years of making images, the need for the skills of representational artists came into question. Photography a mechanical method of capturing images of the visible world First Communion, Picasso, 1895-96, oil on canvas, 65 3/8 x 46 1/2 Seated Woman Holding a Fan, Picasso, 1908, oil on canvas, 59 x 39 3/8
Art and Appearances Now we know at least everything that painting isnt. The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Picasso felt liberated from the task of copying nature First Communion, Picasso, 1895-96, oil on canvas, 65 3/8 x 46 1/2 Seated Woman Holding a Fan, Picasso, 1908, oil on canvas, 59 x 39 3/8
Picasso (1881 1973) Picasso leads a revolt against realistic shape He could draw before he could talk. His first words were Pencil, pencil In addition to Cubism, he was one of the first to use found objects (junk?) to make sculpture, and his subsequent work shows an incredible variety Les desmoiselles DAvignon and Guernica are two of the most powerful paintings of the 20 th century.
Pablo Picasso 1881 to 1973 Self-portrait (1907)
The Old Guitarist (1904)
Picassos Early Art Following the Fauves example of breaking with color traditions, artists dared to break conventions of shape and space This piece was pivotal in the development of 20 th century art Pablo Picasso, Les Desmoiselles dAvignon, 1907, oil on canvas, 8 x 7 8
Picassos Early Art Picasso included nontraditional elements from other ancient cultures Merged figure & ground No conventional modeling of form, sharp geometric shapes Flat planes hints of Cubism to follow Pablo Picasso, Les Desmoiselles dAvignon, 1907, oil on canvas, 8 x 7 8
Picassos Early Art Picasso may not have consciously intended to break the Western pictorial tradition that had dominated since the early 14 th c. (Giotto) But his revolution of form discovered in the process of creating this image secured his place in the Parisian avant-garde Braque & Picasso set out together to develop the potential of this innovation Pablo Picasso, Les Desmoiselles dAvignon, 1907, oil on canvas, 8 x 7 8 Lamentation by Giotto di Bondone 1305- 6 frescos, Arena Chapel
Guitar 1912 (Restored maquette) Picasso extended the principle of collage into three dimensions to produce the first Synthetic Cubist sculpture This typical Cubist subject of musical instruments is composed of wood scraps A revolutionary technique for sculpture assemblage
Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, 11 6 x 25 8 The size and the powerful imagery overwhelm the viewer
One of Picassos most famous paintings Begun within days of the bombing & finished in little over a month Shocking to the original viewers, it remains a chillingly dramatic protest against the brutality of war Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, 11 6 x 25 8
The stark, hallucinatory nightmare focuses on the victims Figures are expressively distorted, some are literal, some are symbolic The horse symbolizes betrayal of innocence & the Spanish republic The bull is thought to symbolize either Franco or Spain The electric light & lantern suggest Picassos desire to reveal the horror of the event to the world Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, 11 6 x 25 8
Self-portrait - 1972 Art is always The product of its own culture Produced under the prevailing standards of taste
Art and Beauty Art that momentarily pleases the eye offers only one level of experience. Art that touches the intellect and the emotions brings far greater satisfaction. Rita Gilbert, Living with Art, p. 25 Art and Beauty is in the eye of the beholder