- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Prestel USA (September 14, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3791352202
- ISBN-13: 978-3791352206
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.3 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Picasso Black and White Hardcover – September 5, 2012
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Giménez...explores Picasso's striking use of black, white, and gray in painting, drawing, and sculpture, and the work is stunningly reproduced. The book and the show provide opportunity to see dozens of masterpieces. --Publishers Weekly
From the Inside Flap
Picasso Black and White examines the artist’s lifelong exploration of a black-and-white leitmotif through paintings and a selection of sculptures and works on paper. Picasso continued the tradition of engaging the color black that had been employed throughout a centuries-long history of Spanish painting by fellow artists José de Ribera, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Francisco de Goya. Moreover, he made highly effective use of isolated black, white, and gray hues in a nod to monochromatic grisaille painting and to drawing, line, and form.
Top customer reviews
The catalogue does the exhibition justice. Each of the 118 objects on view (mostly paintings, but also some sculpture) has its own sharp, full-page reproduction, and there are an additional 27 supportive illustrations. The jacket text indicates there are "more than 150 color illustrations," which seems profoundly paradoxical in a book devoted to black and white paintings. But the paradox is easily resolved when one considers that even in black-and-white painting, most of the surface is gray or in mini-tones of black and white themselves (think of "Guernica," for example). Picasso did not hold with Delacroix, who considered gray the "enemy of painting"; rather, he was firmly on the side of Cézanne, who said something to the effect that you couldn't consider yourself a painter until you had painted a good gray. When one remembers that Picasso's great Spanish forebears Goya and Velázquez had already conceived of black as a color and used it that way, and realizes that in a painting like "Guernica" the grays have tones of red and blue, it is not so odd to refer to these black-and-white reproductions as "color illustrations." Such considerations, and the entire question of Picasso's relations with color and its aesthetic implications, are the province of the four essays that precede the catalogue: Was color simply an aesthetic distraction to Picasso? Did he resist its influence in order to expose more clearly the bare bones of his composition? Would he really substitute a patch of red simply because he had run out of blue? Etc. Carmen Giménez, who curated the show and edited the catalogue, provides a general overview; the art historian Richard Shiff has a wonderfully suggestive essay on the tactility of Picasso's painting and its relation to his sculptural practice; the critic Dore Ashton writes on Picasso's reception by the New York painters; and Olivier Berggruen, son of the great dealer/collector Heinz Berggruen, who amassed a huge Picasso collection now in a dedicated museum of the National Gallery in Berlin, contributes a general appreciation. These essays account for only 76 of the book's 228 pages, the rest being given over to the art itself, which is presented without any specific catalogue commentary (which, in many cases, I would have liked to see, since most of the paintings are not referred to in the essays), but there is a works list with the usual technical data. This is a great show (it travels to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston from February to May of 2013), and this beautiful catalogue deserves a place on every Picasso shelf.
The contributors to the catalog read like an all-star team of art critics (Richard Schiff, Dore Ashton...) and Schiff's analysis of volumes, light and form is especially interesting.
On the whole a very good exhibition catalog which manages the improbable feat of adding something new to the already huge Picasso literature.