Understanding Picasso. PORZIO, DOMENICO AND VALSECCHI, MARCO; WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY THOMAS M. MESSER. New York: Newsweek Books, 1974. First English language edition, Hard Cover.
“Jocelyn” Quick sketch (china marker and coffee on index card) as inspired by Picasso’s Portrait of Françoise, 1946
A comprehensive joyous monography on Picasso’s life, work, and people who wrote about him. Written shortly after his death at 91 (April 8, 1973). The celebrated Picasso creating until his death was indisputably one of the outstanding geniuses in the entire history of Western art. With so much written about Picasso, this book was conceived and produced for those that wish to comprehend the ‘phenomenon’ of Picasso in its complex entirety. A proud, unforgettable celebration of life was Picasso’s gift to the world, in his art. Numerous photographs of Picasso, friends and family. Two major sections are, a biography of the artists by Porzio and a critique of his career by Valsecchi. A revealing section called “Picasso on Picasso,” is 12 pages of comments about his work by the artist himself. The authors present 144 color plates in chronological order from his best works, many full page, along with many black and white drawings, and fold-out of Guernica. Here are turn of the century paintings reflecting his indebtedness to the masters of Impressionism, haunting canvases from his ”Blue Period,” the classic elegance of the “Rose Period,” realistic portraits of a master draftsman, the invention of Cubism, experiments with Surrealism, his collages, sculpture, and the subjects that fascinated him: bullfights, clowns, the horror of war and women in all their mystery and sensuality. Additionally 24 pages of excerpts about Picasso from the writings of Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Roland Penrose, Albert Moavia, and others. Sculptor Henry Moore best summarized the man’s achievement when he said, “Picasso has taught the us above all to see the world in a new way.” Brown cloth boards and spine, gilt figure to front board, gilt lettering to spine.