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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pablo Picasso and painting

 

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish painter and best known for his contributions to Cubism. Art historian Jack Flam said,

 

"Because of his extraordinary technical virtuosity, Picasso was able effectively and convincingly to employ conflicting styles at will... another instance of his uncommon sensitivity to the arbitrariness of different languages... He was probably the first Western artist to insist willfully and persistently on the relative arbitrariness of the means of pictorial representation."

 

Painter Marsden Hartley said,

 

"[Picasso had] a depth of understanding and insight into the inwardness of things... doing very exceptional things of a most abstract psychic nature." (Letter to Rockwell Kent, 1912)

 

The rest of this post is some quotes from Picasso.

 

Painting

 

"I deal with painting as I deal with things, I paint a window just as I look out of a window. If an open window looks wrong in a picture, I draw the curtain and shut it, just as I would in my own room. In painting, as in life, you must act directly." (Quoted in Letters of the Great Artists by Richard Friedenthal)

 

"To finish is the thing" (Quoted in Picasso by Hans L. C. Jaffe)

 

Meaning and expression

 

"If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true, but it is not my idea to give this meaning. What ideas and conclusions you have got I obtained too, but instinctively, unconsciously. I make the painting for the painting." (Quoted in The Sociology of Architecture: Constructing Identities by Paul Jones)

 

"It isn't up to the painter to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so many words! The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as they understand them." (Quoted in Reading Lezama's Paradiso by William Rowlandson)

 

"It is not what the artist does that counts. But what he is... What interests us is the anxiety of Cezanne, the teaching of C├ęzanne, the anguish of Van Gogh, in short the inner drama of the man." (Quoted in Letters of the Great Artists by Richard Friedenthal)

 

"Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive weapon in the defence against the enemy." (Les Lettres Francaises, 1943)

 

Meditation

 

"The painter goes through states of fullness and evacuation. That is the whole secret of art. I go for a walk in the forest of Fontainebleau. I get 'green' indigestion. I must get rid of this sensation into a picture." (Quoted in Futurism by Didier Ottinger and Centre Pompidou)

 

"Nothing can be accomplished without solitude; I have made a kind of solitude for myself." (Quoted in Picasso by Hans L. C. Jaffe)