Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ideas on Transformation_5

Picasso: Primitivism, Representation and Transformation

With the investigation into Orientalism and Primitive art and Transformations, I've come back to the works of Picasso. With the historical direction of primitive art, Picasso took up where artists like Gaughin and Van Gogh left off (so to speak). He also became obsessed with the power of primitivism, and it's profound transformations in Western art.

Despite this, Picasso's works still have their viewer contemplating the motive for using the mask in his works: was it about his search for new abstractions, which could allow him to move away from Western styles of perspective and space? Or was it about whether the masks represented 'himself', as a sort of diarising his life works and desires.

William Rubin, “Reflections on Picasso and Portraiture” says "...The self portrait created in 1901 is a very conventional approach to the human form: the face is realistic and the proportions of the body are true to life, there are areas of heavy brush strokes and perhaps an impressionist influence, but that’s pretty much the extent of Picasso’s questioning of realism in this image. The image created in 1972 is radically different, with an almost ape-like structure to the face, with Prinsen 2 extreme simplification and distortion of features and bright, colors. Comparing these two images is an excellent example of what Picasso was, and what Picasso became, and essentially why Picasso was remembered, because he presented the world with a new way of looking at the world depicted through art". (Rubin, William, Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation. 1996, The Museum of Modern Art - pgs 13-15).

I've found great videos on Youtube, which show Picasso in his studio working or discussing his work... prolific and symbolically filled with imagery which transformed, as the artist aged and moved from traditional painting to printmaking and sculpture...

Other interesting reads on Picasso:
H-France Review Vol. 0 (June 2009)
Irvine 1 - Painting the War

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