Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Of Picasso

Today is a dreary one here in Northern Illinois. I am trying to clean of space in my studio so I can begins to create once again. I have three works in mind for various commitments. Hopefully I will be able to gather materials for one of them today.

On Berger's book, The Success and Failure of Picasso, this was the first biography on an artist that I have ever read. Jonathan Talbot recommended it and so I purchased it on Amazon. Berger is an excellent writer and he drew me into Picasso's life with the first sentence of the book. I really did not have any strong opinions about Picasso one way or another prior to this book. And this was largely because of my lack of knowledge about the man and artist. I can say, however, that I have always been an admirer of his work because of the great emotions that stirred within every time I viewed any of them. Berger's book taught me a great deal about the man and his art! Picasso's environment shaped him and so much of his art reflects troubled emotions. I remember the reaction I had when I viewed Guernica while in Madrid (pictures in a book do not due the work justice). My husband and the couple we were with, left me alone...I wept. I am not sure the guards knew what to make of me but I wept and wept...Such passion and sadness.....

I think I have always wanted to learn more about Picasso but never took the initiative. I was intimidated by the material available to research...He always seemed so, well, so out of reach, so hard to understand or comprehend... so larger than life...Berger changed that for me! He did a super job of laying a foundation for his discussion about the artist, such that even a complete art history virgin, such as myself, could follow where he was leading. I often felt guilty for not loving ALL of Picasso's art because I could not put my arms around all of it. Many pieces disturbed me or I thought they were not that good or not befitting a genius. The guilt was there because I knew he was a genius and so many critics find no fault with his work. Well now I understand why I feel that way. Berger's work is a must read. It helps to dispell some of the myths surrounding the man and his art.


Kari said...

I got the book out of the university library, John Berger is very easy to read and I will enjoy it when I get some quiet time (ach, not until after assessments).

Kathy L said...

I hope you enjoy it and even if you don't, I am sure you will learn a lot about this larger than life man!