A guest post by instructor Kathryn E. Klauber
Picasso. The name has become synonymous with boundless energy and output, and inimitable response and innovation. A difficult genius who forever changed the way we think about art, Picasso (1881 – 1973) was contradictory and complex: a cynical clown, brutal romantic, intuitive intellectual, inventive copyist, and master and destroyer of traditions in art. When art was found at the threshold of subjective expression, it was Picasso who would push it right through the door. He flourished during the chaotic early and middle years of the 20th century — when the world was grappling with imperialism and nationalism to the point of fracture and trauma. His genius thrived upon the circumstances of people, events, and cultures, which is why Picasso is considered by many to be synonymous with the 20th century itself.
Consisting of two lectures plus a museum tour, this unique course coincides with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s exhibition, “Picasso: Black and White,” which focuses on the artist’s choice of a largely monochromatic palette to express form without the diversion of color. Color, Picasso felt, often diminished the significance of form…it simply got in the way.
Created between 1904 and 1970, the paintings, sculptures and works on paper comprising this exhibition come from public and private European and American collections, as well as from the holdings of the Picasso family. Apart from its premiere at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in late 2012, Houston is the only venue for this extraordinary and chronological exhibition of rarely seen works.
“Collision: Picasso and the Early 20th Century” begins February 21, 2013.