Picasso's one-liners

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Artisan, Jun 30, 1997 - Art - 79 pages
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Picasso's "one-liners" constitute a small but delightful contribution to the artist's great body of drawings. His preeminence as a draughtsman has long been recognized, but the unique nature of his one-liners has never been fully examined, or collected together in a single volume. Picasso's One-Liners, featuring fifty drawings, offers a fascinating look at this whimsical side of Picasso's work.

Defined simply, one-liners are drawings in which the artist's drawing implement touches the paper and is not lifted until the drawing is finished. Picasso worked this way in a variety of media, including pencil, pen and ink, brush, and crayon and his subjects included harlequins, musicians, circus scenes, and animals. Each drawing is worth careful study, for by following the vibrant line closely, one's eyes take a wonderful rollercoaster ride.

Along with the "one-liner" art are quotes taken from Picasso's writing, giving full flavor to the influence of the art and the man.

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About the author (1997)

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish painter, graphic artist, and sculptor, is generally considered the most revolutionary, influential, and versatile artist of the twentieth century. He was born in Malaga, son of a painter, and studied in Barcelona. His extraordinary talent showed at an early age. Before he was 14, he had already produced a masterwork in the classic tradition. His early paintings (1901-04) of the so-called Blue Period (in which blues dominate the color scheme) deal with outcasts, beggars, sick children, and circus people. The Old Guitarist is the most famous of his Blue Period paintings. In Paris, Picasso developed a lighter palette, the so-called Rose Period, which is exemplified in The Boy with Horse. In his so-called Negro Period (1907-09), he concerned himself with basic forms, revealing the influence of African art. During those same years, he turned to the incipient cubist movement. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, in its semiabstract geometric forms, was a revolutionary step toward twentieth-century modernism, which he, together with Braque and Matisse, really set in motion. Picasso went through the entire vocabulary of cubism, its analytical as well as its synthetic phase. After 1918 he was also hailed as an initiator of surrealism. The horrors of the Spanish civil war affected Picasso deeply. With almost mythological power, his major work Guernica was inspired by the terror-bombing of the ancient capital of the Basques in northern Spain. Although the painting does not represent the event itself, it does evoke the agony and terror of war in general. The saturation bombing depicted in Guernica was the first demonstration of a technique later employed during World War II. Night Fishing at Antibes is another masterwork of that period. In his later years, Picasso experimented with ceramics and did highly original sculptures---including the famous Goat, as well as collages. He also produced a flood of drawings, lithographs, engravings, and stage designs. He remained creative to the last day of his life.

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