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  • 10/24/2004

Pablo Picasso


Pablo Picasso was born inMalaga, Spain in 1881. He is one of the most famous artists in the world. When he was young he amazed friends by drawing a perfect picture without lifting his pencil or looking at the paper. Pablo had many different periods in his artwork. Two of his most famous paintings areGuernica andThe Young Ladies ofAvignon.  He even created a new way to sculpt and paint! His work was also an important step in Modern art. Picasso painted things the way he saw and felt about them. The way he saw things wasn't always as they really were. He kept on working right up to his death in 1973.

Picasso took many risks in his life. The Nazis said that sculptors could not use bronze to create statues with after they had capturedParis. But he still used bronze after one of his close friends commented to him that plastic was temporary and bronze forever.

Pablo was very creative and had a deep passion for his work. His friends urged him to retire when he was 78 but he refused. Pablo was so productive that some of his critics thought that his work was superficial. Sometimes he painted three paintings in a day. He was "obsessed with the creative process itself and would work on a theme in many different mediums until he had made it part of himself." (Macdonald,Pablo Picasso).

In 1907 Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), a radical departure from the artistic ideas of the preceding ages and now considered the most significant work in the development towardcubism and modern abstraction. The influence of Cézanne and of African sculpture is apparent in its fragmented forms and unprecedented distortions. The painting heralded the first phase of cubism, called analytic cubism. This severe, intellectual style was conceived and developed by Picasso, Braque, and Gris. Picasso'sFemale Nude (1910—11; Philadelphia Mus. of Art) is a representative painting and hisWoman's Head (1909; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) a representative sculpture of this style.

Picasso was very a possessive individual. He maintained a love/hate relationship with his old friends. When his friend Georges Braque visited Pablo inMidi, Pablo would strut around afterward saying "You see Braque came to me first; he realizes I'm more important than he is." Picasso was furious when he found mutual friends at Braque's studio; he almost never informed Braque of his visits. Other examples of his possessiveness were when he said "Nobody has any real importance to me. As far as I'm concerned, other people are like those little grains of dust in the sunlight. It only takes a push of the broom and out they go." Pablo Picasso was an individualist; he never did anything like everyone else. Just when people thought they knew what to expect, he surprised them again. Pablo Picasso will always be famous because he dared to be different.

In his later years Picasso turned to creations of fantasy and comic invention. He worked consistently in sculpture, ceramics, and in the graphic arts, producing thousands of superb drawings, illustrations, and stage designs. With unabated vigor he painted brilliant variations on the works of other masters, including Delacroix and Velلzquez, and continued to explore new aspects of his personal vision until his death. His notable later works includeRape of the Sabines (1963; Picasso Mus., Paris) andYoung Bather with Sand Shovel (1971; private collection, France). By virtue of his vast energies and overwhelming power of invention Picasso remains outstanding among the masters of the ages.

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