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