Title: Enamel Saucepan
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Acclaimed co-founder of Cubism and one of the most influential and creative artists of 20th century art. Pablo Picasso, a Spanish Cubist Painter, initiated the Cubism art movement. Cubist subjects were broken, studied and reassembled in strange new ways. Fragmentation through geometric forms allowed artists of all types to express in an entirely new way.
During the Second World War, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city. Picasso’s artistic style did not fit the Nazi ideal of art, so he did not exhibit during this time. Retreating to his studio, he continued to paint, producing works such as the Still Life with Guitar (1942) and The Charnel House (1944–48). Although the Germans outlawed bronze casting in Paris, Picasso continued regardless, using bronze smuggled to him by the French Resistance.
Around this time, Picasso took up writing as an alternative outlet. Between 1935 and 1959 he wrote over 300 poems. Largely untitled except for a date and sometimes the location of where it was written (for example “Paris 16 May 1936”), these works were gustatory, erotic and at times scatological, as were his two full-length plays Desire Caught by the Tail (1941) and The Four Little Girls (1949).
In 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Picasso began a romantic relationship with a young art student named Fran?oise Gilot. She was 40 years younger than he was. Picasso grew tired of his mistress Dora Maar; Picasso and Gilot began to live together. Eventually they had two children: Claude, born in 1947 and Paloma, born in 1949. In her 1964 book Life with Picasso, she describes his abusive treatment and myriad infidelities which led her to leave him, taking the children with her. This was a severe blow to Picasso.
Picasso had affairs with women an even greater age disparity than his and Gilot's. While still involved with Gilot, in 1951 Picasso had a six-week affair with Geneviève Laporte, who was four years younger than Gilot. Eventually, as evident in his work, Picasso began to come to terms with his advancing age and his waning attraction to young women. By his 70s, many paintings, ink drawings and prints have as their theme an old, grotesque dwarf as the doting lover of a beautiful young model.