Re-assessing Picasso

I am having to re-assess my rather jaded view of Picasso's works from the 1930s. Up until today I had only been exposed to Guernica and the works that adorn the walls of the Picasso Museum in Malaga, then I saw an article in The Guardian. There is a showing at the British Museum of all of the etchings from the Vollard Suite, produced between 1930 and 1937 for the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. Of the 10 that were reproduced for the article there was not one that I did not like; if the other 90 are of an ilk then this is a display it would be worth returning to England for.

You can quite clearly see that this is Picasso's hand, and mind, at work. There are chimerical beasts, the minotaur in all his glory, but there are also faces of men and women that I have seen on Ancient Greek urns and Renaissance ceilings.  I have a desire for the minotaur. That mix of beastial and masculine strength, which is occasionally vanquished in bullfights...this is sex talking to me loud and clear from the artist's pen.

I feel I am getting to know Picasso through these etchings, and to know someone is to at least understand them, if not love them. These etchings have aroused an interest in me, not yet passion, but perhaps that will come with time.

The British Museum - Vollard Suite drawings


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