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Picasso primitif

Directed by Yves Le Fur

The exhibition currently showing at the Musée du quai Branly is spectacular. It confronts Picasso to “primitive”, non-European or ancient forms of art (prehistoric or proto-historic, like the one of Iberia for example). While it gives free rein in its second part to eloquent rapprochements that show a parallel in the forms (between Picasso and Fang sculpture, Mexican cut-outs or headdresses from Vanuatu), it also presents, in its first part, a truly learned introduction. We discover that year after year, Picasso was impregnated, or rather became aware, of a shared vision. He was known to be influenced by African art, and yet it is claimed that he once answered, “Negro art? Never heard of it!” It is difficult to remember everything, to measure the impact of Carl Einstein, Michel Leiris, Derain and Vlaminck, the funny letters or notes exchanged with Gertrude Stein, the trip to Gósol in 1906 or the visit of the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in 1907. Hence the interest of the catalogue, as it allows one to calmly review all these references, at home.

Picasso primitif, directed by Yves Le Fur, Flammarion, 2017, 344 p., €49.90

Picasso primitif - Directed by Yves Le Fur

Review published in the newsletter #466 - from 30 March 2017 to 5 April 2017

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