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Great Lives Lecture- Picasso
February 20 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Jon Properties/Van Zandt Restorations Lecture
Few modern artists captured the popular imagination as did the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Picasso’s influence on art and design in the 20th c. is indisputable. Moreover, for generations of creative individuals Picasso defined what it meant to be “an artist”: free, confident, assertive, connected, and always at the top of his game. In early works such as his portrait of the American writer Gertrude Stein (1906) and the inspired Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Picasso established new directions for painting that would lead to Cubism, a style that still challenges viewers today. Picasso learned to look at each element distinctly and with clarity, ignoring assumptions about what his subject was supposed to look like, focusing instead on individual parts of the whole under his scrutiny. He applied this approach to one of his greatest and most personal works, Guernica (1937), in which he depicts the moment between life and death in the bombing of the city during the Spanish Civil War. Here as elsewhere, a certain quality of line captures the viewer’s attention first with a drawing style was undeniably Picasso’s own.
This talk will consider several works by Picasso within the context of his larger creative output and against the backdrop of 20th-c. artistic movements
Speaker: Marjorie Och
Marjorie Och, Professor Emerita of Art History, has published on the patronage and production of art by women in early modern Italy; the role of cities in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568); the Venice Biennale and contemporary art; and the art of Mary Washington’s own Margaret Sutton, Class of 1926. At UMW, Dr. Och taught courses in Renaissance and Baroque art history, and seminars on the city of Venice, Michelangelo, Bernini, and women and Western art. Her previous lectures for the William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series include the Baroque artists Artemisia Gentileschi and Rembrandt, as well as the Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh.