reviews

  • Pablo Picasso, Pierreuses au bar (Two Women at a Bar), 1902, oil on canvas, 31 1⁄2 × 36".

    Pablo Picasso, Pierreuses au bar (Two Women at a Bar), 1902, oil on canvas, 31 1⁄2 × 36".

    “Picasso: Blue and Rose”

    Musée d'Orsay

    IN AN OFT-CITED REMARK reported by Françoise Gilot, Picasso declared his mononym to have been predestined: “I wanted to be a painter, and so I ended up becoming Picasso.” This quotation decorates the exhibition catalogue accompanying “Picasso: Blue and Rose,” the Musée d’Orsay’s survey of Picasso’s formative years, establishing the tone for the exhibition as a whole. Yet the statement leaves much unanswered: What did it mean, precisely, to have become “Picasso” in becoming a painter? What form of personhood did art provide for Picasso, and was there ever a chance of his becoming something else

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