Picasso: Architecture and Vertigo

Picasso: Architecture and Vertigo

by Christopher Green, Pablo Picasso
     
 

The starting point of this exciting new exploration of Picasso is not his life but his work, which is revealed as a series of interventions in the troubled history of early twentieth-century Europe. Christopher Green shows how these interventions are remarkable for the force with which they confront issues that remain vital and important for us today: race,

Overview

The starting point of this exciting new exploration of Picasso is not his life but his work, which is revealed as a series of interventions in the troubled history of early twentieth-century Europe. Christopher Green shows how these interventions are remarkable for the force with which they confront issues that remain vital and important for us today: race, cultural difference, modernity, sexuality and the discontents of civilization.  The framework for Green’s exploration is simple, yet enormously rich in its implications: the compulsion found in Picasso’s work simultaneously to build architectures and to release himself from them. Architecture is used by Green to refer not merely to pictorial or sculptural structure, but to the architecture of knowledge and society: the structures of tradition, of racial, social and cultural distinction, of logic and of technology.  He not only develops new ways of seeing the oscillation between order and disorder in Picasso’s work, but moves outwards from it to reveal how it confronted and challenged the architectures of orthodoxy.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Green (history of art, Courtauld Inst., London; Art in France, 1900-1940) reveals Picasso's involvement with social, historical, technological, logical, racial, political, psychological, and modern ideas of the early 20th century. He focuses on a few of the artist's major works, such as the metal and cardboard guitar sculptures of 1912 and 1924, and analyzes Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in terms of late 19th- and early 20th-century racial stereotypes and pseudosciences. He also discusses the avant-garde circles in which Picasso was a major influence, emphasizing his cultural and personal relationships. While Picasso was able to develop structures and architectures relevant to his era, he instinctively maintained a distance from dogma and politics; Green describes his uncanny knack for codifying and dissolving major ideas and issues dramatically. Overall, this book is a thorough yet narrow exploration of early 20th-century ideas, with 60 color and 60 black-and-white reproductions. The dense prose will mostly interest social historians but will also reward those interested in early 20th-century French art. Recommended for academic and special collections.-Ellen Bates, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300104127
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Green is professor of history of art at the Courtauld Institute. His books include Léger and the Avant-garde (1976), Cubism and Its Enemies (1987), Juan Gris (1992), and Art in France, 1900–1940 (2000), all published by Yale University Press.

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