Philippe Dagen

If this is not the typical Christmas present then we do not know what is: an amount of information on the emblematic artist of the XXth century, with all the details on his many «periods» and the way they were articulated, in large format, very richly illustrated. Five hundred images tell an exceptionally creative life, from a Picador painted in Malaga towards 1888 (he was 7 years old) up to Nu dans un fauteuil from 1972 (he was then 91 years old), that iso ver eight decades without any interruption. The text replaces Picasso in his context – his father’s influence, the relations with Braque, Breton, Bataille or Lee Miller, the Franco era, life in the workshop in rue des Grands-Augustins during the war, his membership to the communist party, etc. But that public Picasso is hardly shown, aside from a handful of lack and white photographs by Brassaï, Villers and Duncan. A choice that can be defended: one is essentially interested here in the artist. And the artist’s work is so abundant and polymorphic – in terms of subjects, techniques, formats – that it has a tendency to «overflow» from the frame…

• Picasso by Philippe Dagen, Hazan publishing house, 2008, 512 p., with a jacket, 140 € (170 € as of 1st February 2009), ISBN : 978-2-7541-0157-8

Picasso - Philippe Dagen

Review published in the newsletter #114 - from 18 December 2008 to 24 December 2008

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