Picasso must be the most famous 20th C painter; his 'blue period' paintings such as 'Femme nue II' and 'Boy with pipe', are amongst the world's most popular cheap reproductions.
Like him, or loathe him, there is hardly a single person in the western world who hasn't heard his name.
The photo above was taken in 1964, and the works that surround him are typical of that time. I went to an exhibition of his 'current works' at the ICA a few years later; the works above might well have been included in the show.
What I saw was an exhibition of slap-dash work, on very badly stretched canvases, that looked to me as if he was simply filling his coffers on the backs of a gullible public who were willing to pay a king's ransom for one of his inferior works. The whole gallery smelt of fresh oil paint.
There is no question that he was a ground-breaking painter, and his reputation is well deserved, but there came a time when he was producing nothing more than pot-boilers, and no longer 'agonised' about what he was doing.
It might have been better had he stopped working back in the 60's.
Interesting observation about an often revered artist. I generally like his often challenging pieces.ReplyDelete
I think he simply became slapdash, and knocked-up pictures just for the money. After the 60's it seemed as if he no longer cared; knowing that people would buy his stuff regardless.Delete
I fall into the category of the happily ignorant when it comes to Picasso. A friend once tried to educate me but decided I was a lost cause. However, if you mention Dali then I'll happily look at his work all day (and indeed at one time did).ReplyDelete
Picasso's early work is 'classic', but fame eventually overcame talent and he went off track.Delete
Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot is a good read. She would agree with you but more like she would say he should have given up in the 1950s. He started round about then making work from rubbish he found in the streets of Paris, putting anything together and collectors still came to buy it. So if they wanted to give him money for it then he would do it. He was a mean and selfish man to his family and he never forgave Francoise for leaving him. He liked to be the one to finish with his women, not the other way around.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I did wonder if I'd be a lone critic.Delete
He realised how gullible the public can be - not the first, and not the last to make a fortune that way.ReplyDelete
He almost became an 'iconic trade name'. He could put his name on anything, and people BOUGHT.Delete
It's always interesting to rethink famous artwork, I don't have much knowledge about it.ReplyDelete
Most 'famous' painters simply continue working throughout their lives. Picasso became cynical and money-grubbing. He should have stopped whilst he was ahead!Delete
I've never been a fan of Picasso but he certainly did have a unique and instantly recognisable style.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't call myself a 'fan' either. He certainly wouldn't appear in my Top 20.Delete
Two things about PB worth noting I think. In his later years he worked to a strict timeframe, allowing himself one hour (I think it was that but I’ll hold my hand up if I’m wrong) per canvas. It’s claimed that he said and I accept it as likely: I don’t know why they bother to forge me, I do my own forgeries.ReplyDelete
I don’t know if he is the most famous in the last century. Dali and Magritte would run him close I think.
Frankly, an hour seems far too long in many cases. I would think ten minutes is more like it.Delete
I hope Matisse is on your list. Picasso said Matisse's work looked as if he had swallowed the sun.I think he was a bit envious.Don't like Picasso either.ReplyDelete
Matisse is very high on my list; a wonderful painter.Delete
Not a favorite for mine. I had a drawing teacher who push him on us so much that I can not stand to look at his work.ReplyDelete
My school art teacher was obviously very influenced by him, and painted in a semi-cubist manner. He was very good though.Delete
This was the opinion of my first husband (you have seen some of his paintings which in the past I have put on my blog) who always thought that his very late work was a case of 'the emperor's new clothes'.ReplyDelete
He was right Weave. I don't think it did his reputation much good; he should have quit painting and stuck to sculpture maybe.Delete