National Gallery of Art Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica

Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica

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'Eloquent, confrontational and often disarmingly simple, Clark's writing moves quickly between levels, the metaphors heavy, the descriptions light' - London Review of Books

A rigorous and eloquent book from the eminent art historian T. J. Clark about Picasso's paintings from the 1920s and 1930s

Picasso and Truth offers a breathtaking and original new look at the most significant artist of the modern era. From Pablo Picasso's early The Blue Room to the later Guernica, eminent art historian T. J. Clark offers a striking reassessment of the artist's paintings from the 1920s and 1930s. Why was the space of a room so basic to Picasso's worldview? And what happened to his art when he began to feel that room-space become too confined--too little exposed to the catastrophes of the twentieth century? Clark explores the role of space and the interior, and the battle between intimacy and monstrosity, in Picasso's art. Based on the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts delivered at the National Gallery of Art, this lavishly illustrated volume remedies the biographical and idolatrous tendencies of most studies on Picasso, reasserting the structure and substance of the artist's work.

With compelling insight, Clark focuses on three central works--the large-scale Guitar and Mandolin on a Table (1924), The Three Dancers (1925), and The Painter and His Model (1927)--and explores Picasso's answer to Nietzsche's belief that the age-old commitment to truth was imploding in modern European culture. Masterful in its historical contextualization, Picasso and Truth rescues Picasso from the celebrity culture that trivializes his accomplishments and returns us to the tragic vision of his art--humane and appalling, naïve and difficult, in mourning for a lost nineteenth century, yet utterly exposed to the hell of Europe between the wars.

Details
  • Author: TJ Clark
  • Hardcover: 344 pages | 109 colour and 100 black and white illustrations
  • Date published: May 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0691157412
  • Product Dimensions: 26.0 x 19.1 cm
Reviews

'[B]rain-expanding but embracing, too. . . . T. J. Clark's Picasso and Truth [will] be with me for a good long time' - New York Times Book Review

'Clark is very good at pointing out in detail the complex and radical ways in which Picasso's paintings were conceived. He discusses a number of individual works . . . with admirable awareness of their complexity, and the book is full of acute observations' - Times Literary Supplement

'Eloquent, confrontational and often disarmingly simple, Clark's writing moves quickly between levels, the metaphors heavy, the descriptions light' - London Review of Books

'[M]asterful. . . . [E]xquisite prose. . . . This satisfyingly rigorous book is grounded in Picasso's paintings and drawings throughout' - Publishers Weekly

'At his best, he is, simply, brilliant. At his worst, he is also brilliant' - Literary Review

'[T]hrilling. . . . Thus space becomes an arena for truth-telling after all: a conclusion with optimistic implications for the legacies we can still seek in 20th-century art if we explore, as Clark does with supreme insight, the meeting ground between art and politics' - FT


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