I look for inspiration in reality. Only reality powers my imagination and gives me new life.
Van de Weghe Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of works on paper by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Picasso, the father of Modernism, possessed a creativity of mythic proportion, and was a master of nearly every genre: painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking. Drawing was, however, central to his practice. He used it to collect his thoughts, make note of his ideas, and work through visual problems; it was not only an integral part of his process but existed as an end in itself. The works in the current exhibition date from Picasso’s mid to late career and utilize the figure as their starting point.
Picasso’s line is distinctive and immediately recognizable in its fluidity and playful meandering. He uses this humblest of marks to evoke all matter of form and gesture. The line twists and curls in Tête Couronnée, 1960 to form a bearded man with a crown atop his head, resembling Dionysus, a pleasure-seeking character with which the artist identified. Les déjeuners, 1961 is a study for a group of paintings called Le déjeuner sur l’herbe after Manet. The line here both defines and intertwines the group of figures seated prosaically on the grass. Even toward the very end of his career, Picasso’s drawings retained their vigor. Homme et femme nus, 1969, is characteristic of the erotically charged works he did late in life. A female figure, resembling his last wife and muse, Jacqueline Roque, reclines suggestively beneath the hungry gaze of the male figure. While the reality of the figure is Picasso’s starting point, he is never chained to it. He bends the figure to the will of the line, taking great liberties with the human form.
Picasso’s use of color, too, is exceptional. In the earliest work in the exhibition, Portrait de femme, 1942, he has drawn a portrait of his long-time friend, confidant, housekeeper and cook, Inès Sassier. The pencil and crayon portrait is drawn with care and attention, Inès’ face bathed in a warm glow.
The power of Picasso’s drawings derives from their immediacy and lack of self-consciousness. They are an unmediated glimpse into the artist’s mind and process. Picasso’s long and virtuosic career was characterized by his prolific output and uninhibited innovation. He drew his inspiration from the world around him and changed our way of seeing by conveying his with such confidence. A true artistic genius, Picasso remains a fixed point against which we continue to measure all other art.
Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and by appointment. For further information, please contact Jenn Viola at firstname.lastname@example.org.