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Pablo Picasso | John McDonald

Pablo Picasso

Picasso to Warhol

September 29, 2012
Joan Miró, Person Throwing a Stone at a Bird, 1926, Oil on canvas 29 x 36 1/4

Australia’s economy may be one of the most robust in the world, but our art markets, and attendances at public galleries, lag far behind Europe and the United States. It is a cultural problem: a general feeling that visual art is not an essential part of life, merely a sideline or a luxury. This is … More

Picasso – In Living Colour

December 15, 2011
Pablo Picasso, Trois figures sous un arbre (Three figures under a tree) 1907–08

Pablo Picasso never travelled to Australia. He never even visited the United States, where his reputation as the leading artist of the twentieth century was set in stone. It’s a different story for those works Picasso loved best, which have recently been seen in Madrid, Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg; before crossing the Atlantic, to … More

Picasso- Five Highlights

December 8, 2011
Michael Sima, "Picasso and Samuel Kootz in Picasso's Studio", Paris, 1947 . Photograph. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

It is difficult to choose only five works from an exhibition which covers all the major periods in Picasso’s career, from the earliest days, through his Blue and Rose periods, his experiments with Cubism, the neo-classical pictures of the post-war years, his flirtation with Surrealism, and the variations of his later life. Neither should we … More

The Steins Collect

September 24, 2011
Henri Matisse, Blue Nude Memory of Biskra

“There are two geniuses in art today,” Gertrude Stein told Picasso, “you in painting, and I in literature.” Whatever posterity has made of Gertrude Stein’s literary efforts, her self-confidence has rarely been surpassed. For the most part, her cryptic, repetitive prose style ensured that her books found few readers. The outstanding exception was The Autobiography … More

Paths to Abstraction

July 3, 2010
Wassily Kandinsky Study for ‘Painting with white border’ 1913, watercolour, gouache, ink,

Cézanne’s lesson, according to Picasso, was not to be found in his beautifully painted apples, but in his anxiety. This is echoed in the words of the artist, Paul Signac, who reported that Matisse was “anxious, madly anxious”, in the year of 1905, when the Fauves made their cataclysmic debut at the Salon d’Automne. It … More

Modern Painting in 15 Easy Pieces: The past 100 years

August 15, 2003

All definitions of modern art are bound to end in failure, but that has not prevented artists and writers from making the attempt. In fact, one might see the entire twentieth century as an unbroken sequence of definitions and re-definitions, with each movement taking its cue from an earlier one, but striving to surpass and … More