“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso
“Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. According to legend, his first words were “piz, piz,” his childish attempt at saying “lápiz,” the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father’s. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead. “For being a bad student, I was banished to the ‘calaboose,’ a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on,” he later remembered. “I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly … I could have stayed there forever, drawing without stopping.”
“In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, he moved with his family to Barcelona, Spain. where he quickly applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso’s entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted. Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the School of Fine Arts’ strict rules and formalities, and began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.” –Biography
by Carmen Gimenez and Dore Ashton
"Picasso Black and White examines the artist's lifelong exploration of a black-and-white leitmotif through paintings and a selection of sculptures and works on paper. Picasso continued the tradition of engaging the color black that had been employed throughout a centuries-long history of Spanish painting by fellow artists Jose de Ribera, Diego VelÃ¡zquez, Francisco de ZurbarÃ¡n, and Francisco de Goya. Moreover, he made highly effective use of isolated black, white, and gray hues in a nod to monochromatic grisaille painting and to drawing, line, and form. As this volume attests, the recurrent motif of black and white appears throughout Picasso's oeuvre, including his blue and rose periods, his investigations into Cubism and Surrealism, his interpretations of historical subject studies for his celebrated painting Guernica, World War II, and an homage to old masters, as well as the powerful paintings of his last years. Featuring reproductions of more than 150 works, this book examines the extraordinary complexity and power of these expressive artworks, which purge color in order to highlight their formal structure. Including essays by leading Picasso scholars, this book is a unique and coherent perspective on one of the world's most innovative and influential artists."...(more).
starring Pablo Picasso
"Like a matador confronting a bull, the artist approaches his easel. As he wields his brush, the painting dances into being before our eyes. Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the 20th century, is making art, and famous French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) is making a movie. This entirely new kind of art documentary captures the moment and the mystery of creativity; for the film, the master created 20 artworks, ranging from playful black-and-white sketches to widescreen color paintings. Using inks that bled through the paper, Picasso rapidly created fanciful drawings that Clouzot was able to film from the reverse side, capturing their creation in real time. When the artist decided to paint in oils, the filmmaker switched to color film and employed the magic of stop-motion animation. By contract, almost all of these paintings were destroyed when the film was completed. Unavailable for more than a decade, "The Mystery of Picasso" is exhilarating, mesmerizing, and unforgettable; it is simply one of the greatest documentaries on art ever made. The French government agrees; in 1984 it declared the film a national treasure."...(more).
by Patrick O'Brian
"Everything about Picasso, except his physical stature, was on an enormous scale. No painter of the first rank has been so awe-inspiringly productive. No painter of any rank has made so much money. A few painters have rivaled his life span of ninety years, but none has attracted so avid, so insatiable, a public interest. Patrick O'Brian knew Picasso sufficiently well to have a strong sense of his personality. The man that emerges from this scholarly, passionate, and brilliantly written biography is one of many contradictions: hard and tender, mean and generous, affectionate and cold, private despite the relish of his fame. In his later years he professed communism, yet in O'Brian's view retained to the end of his life a residual Catholic outlook. Not that such matters were allowed to interfere with his vigorous sensuality. Sex and money, eating and drinking, friends and quarrels, comedies and tragedies, suicides and wars tumble one another in the vast chaos of his experience. he was "a man almost as lonely as the sun, but one who glowed with much the same fierce, burning life." It is with that impression of its subject that this book leaves its readers....(more.)"
starring Anthony Hopkins
"World-renowned painter Pablo Picasso (Anthony Hopkins) is notorious for his infidelity, but his French lover, Françoise Gilot (Natascha McElhone), manages to weather her stormy relationship with him better than many other women. While serving as Picasso's muse and the mother of two of his children, Gilot -- an artist in her own right -- has to contend with his relationships with other women, including his wife, dancer Olga Khokhlova (Jane Lapotaire), and photographer Dora Maar (Julianne Moore)... (more)