Wednesday, 26 January 2011

How Picasso showed his works in the studio

This article was first published in my newsletter "Notes From My French Easel" – November / December 2010. Follow the link to subscribe to the newsletter.

Picasso had an unusual way to show his paintings to visitors in his studio. It seems natural, when showing a work, to isolate it so that it can get all the attention of the public without any competition from its surroundings. Picasso’s method was more “organic”. Here is Brassaï’s description in his book “Conversations avec Picasso”:

“The ceremonial of this operation has not changed since probably the Bateau-Lavoir... It consists of making with his paintings a kind of pyramidal construction, assembling them - usually around an easel that has already one or more paintings on it - to superimpose small to large formats, in order to enhance their affinity or contrast.”

Brassaï explains that Picasso liked the chance element in getting two works next to each other. This method was for him a perfect way to show in one go works from the same period.

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