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Picasso and the War Years: 1937-1945 Hardcover – October, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Despite Picasso's being one of the most written about artists of all times, students of the artist will welcome these examinations of his less frequently studied war years. Picasso and the War Years brings together 83 fine reproductions of works?from a show that just moved from San Francisco to New York?and seven wonderfully readable essays examining the style and content of works from these years. Curator and editor Nash has wisely surveyed work from the time of the Spanish Civil War as well as World War II, as it was Spain's involvement that made Picasso feel politics more acutely than ever before. It is key to understanding his work in this period to know that Picasso was already a world-renowned painter at that point; this fame allowed him to remain in occupied France despite Nazi surveillance and denunciation as a "degenerate artist." His status, his largely apolitical past, and his antifascist sentiments resulted in not so much an expression of specific political beliefs as an expression of defiance. In content, this meant a "modern alternative to history painting," as one essayist astutely names it; socially, his continuing to work with complex themes carried a symbolic significance for other painters. Elsewhere in the book are discussions of such technical issues as the influence of Goya and the increasingly gray palette. Wofsy offers the seventh volume in a catalogue raisonne authorized by Picasso's estate that will eventually span from 1885 to 1973 in well over 30 volumes. As with other volumes in the series, the vast majority of the book is given to black-and-white reproductions of a reasonable size; each is captioned with title, date, media, size, and cross reference to other standard guides to the artists work. Otherwise, there is only brief prefatory materials and two concluding concordances. Despite the price, no serious art collection should be without this work; Nash's important and beautiful work deserves a place in all academic and larger public libraries.?Douglas McClemont, New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


[I]nvaluable new insight where one might have least expected. -- Chicago Tribune, Alan G. Artner, 6 December 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500092745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500092743
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Picasso and the War Years" surveys his art during his years of isolation in Occupied Paris, as well as the three years leading up to the cataclysm. Although several exhibitions have been held on this same subject in Europe, this is the first such survey of Picasso's wartime production to take place in the United States. A series of outstanding essays by several prominent critics explore the complex political, social, and personal circumstances which inspired these still-challenging paintings, and the initial reactions to them. A warning: this book is not for everyone. If you are disturbed by violent and harsh art, forget it. These images still retain their power to shock, disorient, disgust and sadden, even if sixty years have gone by since their creation. Yet all the pictures possess a deep geometric structure, formal balance, and intense affect which engraves them on the viewer's mind. The sorrowful, neurotic, and unforgettable face of Dora Maar, Picasso's mistress and model during these tragic years, is transformed in these paintings into a symbol of a world gone mad. This is definitely one of the most significant art books produced this year.
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Format: Hardcover
I saw this exhibit when it came to San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor, and saw fit to buy the catalog two years later, it madde such an impact.
This is not a collection of Picasso's best or most famous work. Rather it collects unknown and semi-distinguished pieces all produced during the political upheaval of WWII. As such it tells the story of the occcupation of France through the perceptions of one artist who survived it, and transformed the experience for the world to see through his art.
While it gathers some curiosities, like developmental sketchs for the classic Guernica, the real star of this exhibit are lesser known classics like Night Fishing at Antibes.
Don't buy this for a general introduction to Picasso's art. Think of it as a kind of emotional history in pictures.
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