picasso vol2

picasso vol2

a life of picasso: the cubist rebel, volume ii 1907-1916 john richardson / this is likely the most interesting of the four volumes \ picasso and braque develop cubism which spawns the modern art movement / “over the years, this art would come to be divided into two phases:  analytic and (after the invention of papier colle) synthetic cubism”

“analytic cubism permitted [picasso and braque] to take things apart… it enabled their followers to make a further breakthrough: into the realm of abstraction… [it] would make possible the achievements of de stijl, constructivism and even minimalism.  synthetic cubism, on the other hand, permitted picasso and braque to put things together again, to create images and objects in a revolutionary way, out of whatever materials they chose. it would make possible the achievements of the dadaists, the surrealists, even the pop artists”

braque explaining why they abandoned perspective in the analytic phase of cubism

“traditional perspective gave me no satisfaction.  it is too mechanical to allow one to take full possession of things.  it has its origins in a single viewpoint and never gets away from it.  but the viewpoint is of little importance. it is as if someone spent his life drawing profiles and believed that man was one-eyed. when we arrived at this conclusion, everything changed, you have no idea how much.”

in 1912, picasso started using ripolin (house paint)

“ripolin allowed picasso to exploit the brightness and, if need be the shine of playing cards, flags, clothes, posters, labels, packaging, household utensils, which are the stuff of pop culture. it was so much the anitithesis of impressionist belle peinture

picasso’s use of ripolin coincides with his use of another alien industrial element:  the oilcloth printed to resemble canework that he incorporated into his still life with chair caning (newspaper, glass, lemon, slice, scallop shell), which is renowned for being the first cubist collage.”

braque invented the “papier colle” but picasso takes it to new heights

“picasso immediately realized that papier colle opened up a vast new range of pictorial possibilities.  an object could now be presented by some foreign element that was an equivalent, as opposed to an image, of itself.  a piece of newspaper, for instance, could stand for a newspaper; it could also signify anything else the artist wanted it to signify.  drawing could then function simultaneously and independent to indicate volume and integrate the real element… into the composition.  furthermore, by enabling color to function independently of form, papier colle made it easier for picasso and braque to introduce color into a cubist composition …. they could now achieve much sharper contrasts of color, tone and texture.”

excellent read!