|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Tuesday, September 19, 2017
|1901: A momentous and turbulent year for Pablo Picasso explored in new exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery|
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), The Blue Room (The Tub), 1901. Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 62 cm. The Phillips Collection, Washington.
LONDON.- This exhibition tells the remarkable story of Pablo Picassos breakthrough year as an artist 1901. It was the year that the highly ambitious nineteen-year-old first launched his career in Paris at a debut summer exhibition with the influential dealer Ambroise Vollard. Refusing to rest on the success of this show, Picasso (1881-1973) charted new artistic directions in the second half of the year, heralding the beginning of his now famous Blue period. Becoming Picasso focuses on the figure paintings of 1901 and explores his development during this seminal year when he found his own artistic voice. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to experience works, now considered to be Picassos first masterpieces, which established his early reputation. They are also among the earliest paintings to bear the famously assertive and singular Picasso signature, which he adopted in 1901.
1901 was a momentous and turbulent year for the young Picasso. He spent the first part of it in Madrid where he helped to set up Arte Joven, an avant-garde journal with ambitions to shake up the staid culture of the Spanish capital. This role could not hold him for long as Picassos sights were firmly set upon becoming a great painter in Paris, the capital of the arts. His first visit to Paris, in the autumn and winter of 1900, had fuelled his ambitions and led to the prospect of the 1901 exhibition with Vollard, one of the citys most important modern art dealers. In February 1901, whilst still in Madrid, Picasso received news from Paris that his close friend, Carles Casagemas, had committed suicide in dramatic fashion. Casagemas shot himself in Montmartres Hippodrome café in front of the young woman who had jilted him and his friends. The tragedy would have a profound impact upon Picassos art as the year unfolded.
Picasso left Spain for Paris, probably at the beginning of May, with a clutch of drawings and just a few paintings. He had little over a month to produce enough work for his Vollard exhibition. Arriving in Paris, Picasso took a studio in Montmartre at 130ter boulevard de Clichy with Pere Mañach who acted as his agent. The studio had previously been occupied briefly by Casagemas before his suicide. Picasso then painted unstintingly, sometimes finishing three canvases in a single day. This outpouring of creative energy resulted in most of the sixty-four works shown at the Vollard exhibition (24 June to 14 July). They demonstrate Picasso taking on and reinventing the styles and motifs of major modern artists, including Van Gogh, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. In works such as Dwarf-Dancer, Museu Picasso, Barcelona, and At the Moulin Rouge, Private collection, we see these influences coming together and being transformed into bold and daring expressions of Parisian night life, captured in showers of broken brushwork and bright colours.
The Vollard exhibition was a critical success with respectable sales. Reviewers were won over by Picassos youthful energy, creative powers and insatiable visual appetite. As Gustave Coquiot introduced him: Pablo Ruiz Picasso an artist who paints all round the clock, who never believes the day is over, in a city that offers a different spectacle every minute
A passionate, restless observer, he exults, like a mad but subtle jeweller, in bringing out his most sumptuous yellows, magnificent greens and glowing rubies. The exhibition effectively launched Picassos career in Paris but, despite this success, he took his art in daring new directions in the second half of 1901.
Picasso evidently wanted to move away from the belle époque gaiety of the Vollard show paintings, with their exuberant brushwork, towards pictures that expressed a more profound and reflective account of human existence. He was inspired, in part, by the spectre of Casagemas death. The Blue Room, Phillips Collection, Washington, is often thought to mark a turning point, demonstrating Picassos move to the use of more muted colours, tending towards blue, and painted outlines to enclose form, giving his figures an almost sculptural effect. These qualities are a defining feature of the celebrated series of paintings of melancholic café drinkers, numbed by ennui and absinthe, which are now considered one of his greatest early achievements. This exhibition brings together a number of major examples including Absinthe Drinker, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, which is redolent of Degas infamous earlier treatment of the subject. In other café scenes, such as Seated Harlequin, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Harlequin and Companion, The State Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Picasso introduces the unexpected figure of Harlequin, reinventing this familiar subject in a highly original manner. This is the first appearance of the mischievous Harlequin in Picassos paintings. The character became a recurrent feature of his later art and indeed was adopted as an alter ego for the artist. Related to this group is Picassos much-loved Child with a Dove, Private collection, which also expresses a sense of melancholy but in relation to the fragility of childhood innocence.
This series of works anticipate his Blue period paintings of the following few years. They demonstrate the early emergence of a number of major themes that preoccupied the young Picasso in the second half of 1901 and would continue to drive his art throughout his long career. The paintings explore the interplay between innocence and experience, purity and corruption, and life and death. These concerns were bound up with Casagemas death and further inspired by a number of visits Picasso made in the late summer and autumn of 1901 to the Saint-Lazare womens prison where he observed, and subsequently painted, the former prostitutes and their infants who were incarcerated there. Picassos new pictorial world of innocence and corruption, of prostitutes, melancholic drinkers, mothers and children found its fullest expression in his large-scale Evocation (The Burial of Casagemas), Musée dart moderne, Paris. This secular altarpiece was a valediction to Picassos dead friend and shows Casagemas ascending to heaven on a white stallion, surrounded by naked prostitutes, playful children, mourners and a madonna and child. This radical and highly unusual painting challenged the conventions of religious art. It will form the centrepiece of this exhibition and demonstrates the scale of Picassos aspirations, developed in 1901, to reinvent the language and traditions of painting. His ambition and confidence is further expressed in one of his most powerful and famous self-portraits in which he appears lit up against a dark background with a bold inscription proclaiming Yo - Picasso (or I - Picasso), Private collection.
Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 offers the chance to consider in detail the early development of one of the towering figures of 20th century art at a time when he was still just a young Spanish hopeful in Paris.
February 14, 2013
Archaeologists find large sculpture of Huehuetéotl, God of Fire, atop the Pyramid of the Sun
1901: A momentous and turbulent year for Pablo Picasso explored in new exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery
Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns at the Barbican Art Gallery
World's most famous fossil "Lucy" exhibited in Santa Ana before returning to Ethiopia
British artist Mat Collishaw returns to the medium of oil painting in new exhibition at Blain/Southern
British Museum displays Sowei mask from Sierra Leone acquired in 1886 by the museum
Global bidding results in highest total for a February Evening Auction of Post-war & Contemporary Art at Christie's
Columbus Museum of Art welcomes Tyler Cann as its new Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
Early phases of construction begin for Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Serpentine Gallery opens a door onto Rosemarie Trockel's personal universe of affinities and interests
Dakin Hart appointed Senior Curator of the Noguchi Museum effective February 2013
Paul Pretzer's second one-person exhibit opens at Marc Straus in New York
The Fine Art Society opens "British Murals & Decorative Painting 1910-1979"
'Casspirs Full of Love' by William Kentridge, forces favourites meets state violence, for sale at Bonhams
Norton Museum of Art appoints James Brayton Hall as Deputy Director
Galerie Michael Janssen opens new gallery space in Berlin with exhibition by Assaf Gruber
"Paul de Monchaux: Fixing Memory, Sculpture 1986-2013" opens at the Piper Gallery
Furniture and Decorative Arts Auction finely tuned with offerings of local provenace at Bonhams
Works by Jacob Kassay, Olivier Mosset and Lawrence Weiner in conversation at Andrea Rosen Gallery
Southern Methodist University launches new national center for arts research
Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art opens exhibition of artists engaged with clothing
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Carbon dating finds manuscript contains oldest recorded origins of the symbol 'zero'
2.- Alice Walton announces formation of Art Bridges
3.- Met Museum acquires ancient Egyptian gilded coffin
4.- French fashion tycoon and art collector Pierre Berge dies aged 86 in southern France
5.- Van der Weyden, Rubens and Van Dyck: Flemish masters on view in The Hague
6.- New exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum explores rare luxury books of the Middle Ages
7.- Mexican archaeologists find dwelling for Aztec survivors of Spanish conquest
8.- Groundbreaking LGBTQ art show opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei
9.- Egyptian archaeological dig unearths goldsmith's tomb, mummies
10.- Exhibition at Stadel Museum focuses on works by Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.