Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How Picasso Found Truth in a Closed Room

One of the first words nixed by postgraduate education is “truth.” Amidst all the deconstructing and linguistic acrobatics, “truth” is just too troublesome and old fashioned. So, imagine my surprise to see the title of art historian T.J. Clark’s newest book, Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica. Originally delivered in 2009 as a series of six lectures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Picasso and Truth shows how Clark rediscovered Pablo Picasso’s struggles with the concept of “truth” in his painting over the course of first half of the 20th century, starting with 1901’s The Blue Room (shown above) and ending with 1937’s Guernica. Using meticulous close reading of numerous paintings in between those two poles and philosophical assists from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Clark weaves his way through Picasso’s process, nimbly leaps over the landmines of strict biographical interpretation, and arrives finally at a complex, challenging, but coherent concept of how Picasso found truth in a closed room and spent the rest of his life trying to find it again. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Picasso Found Truth in a Closed Room."

[Many thanks to Princeton University Press for providing me with a review copy of Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica by T.J. Clark.]

1 comment:

Gardener in the Distance said...

Bob, I'm grateful there's some sort of interest in 'the truth', however relative it might be to some who prefer it didn't exist. Personally I found Postmodernism to be a nightmare, a sort of bad joke posturing as a point of view. I might be entirely wrong, but the search for truth lies at the heart of art-making, to me.