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Giuseppe Domingo Romano
Helena Bonham Carter,
Melania Gaia Mazzucco
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Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists in the world, and until his death in 1973, he was the most prolific. How it all began ? How was Picasso built? After being ignored for too long, it's time to focus on the artist's early years, his education and the lessons that allowed him to accomplish the extraordinary. Three cities played a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris. Young Picasso crosses them and explores their influence on the artist, analyzing specific works from his beginnings.Written by
Seventh Art Productions
1907 was an 'annus mirabilis' (a wonderful year) in the history of art and in the life of Pablo Picasso. It was the year when Picasso painted 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', a painting that overturned all the traditional conceptions of composition, perspective, and aesthetics. The canvas represents a scene in a brothel where five naked women with deformed faces and twisted bodies appear in a composition and forms not yet encountered in the history of art. The artist, at the wonderful age of maximum creativity, overturned concepts and traditions and opened new roads, which he will continue in the coming years, but also be followed by many other painters. He did this after having traveled in a few years, with the speed of geniuses, the artistic trajectories in which he assimilated and synthesized the art and experiences of his predecessors. 1907 represented a milestone. After that year, art was not the same as before, and Picasso was not the same as before. Phil Grabsky's 'Young Picasso' documentary in the 'Exhibitions on Screen' series deals with Picasso's life and art before and until 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'.
Unlike other documentaries in the same excellent art film series, 'Young Picasso' does not deal with one single exhibition in one or several of the world's largest museums, but rather creates a virtual version of an exhibition that would be worth organizing sometime in the future. The works discussed are filmed in the great museums hosting Picasso's works and in the museums dedicated to him in his city of birth Malaga, in Barcelona, which represented his gateway to the artist circles, and in Paris where he established himself since 1900. The documentary follows the biography of the child and the young man who would become Pablo Picasso. He was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, in a middle class family. His childhood was protected from material worries, and his family understood his talent and call, encouraged them, and supported them through education. His father, Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco (Picasso was to adopt his mother's surname), descended from a family of small nobles, was a painter, college professor of art and a curator of the local museum. Since he was aged 7, his father, detecting his passion and talent, began his formal education as an artist. At the age of 16, Pablo Picasso was sent to Madrid at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts San Fernando. Conventional university studies did not really attract him. Bored with the academic style, he was spending more time at the Prado Museum, absorbing the art of the Renaissance and Baroque masters. Arrived in Paris in 1900, Picasso was surrounded by a circle of artists and writers of exceptional intellectual effervescence. Between 1900 and 1906 he created the reference paintings of his' blue 'and' pink 'periods, demonstrating a perfect knowledge of tradition and exceptional talent in painting in a close to 'conventional' style. His 1907 revolution was to come from within the world of painting, after the assimilation and decanting of the art that preceded him.
We find in the 'Young Picasso' many of the delights that previous documentaries in this series accustomed us with: works of art filmed in excellent resolution allowing us to see details that often escape even when we have the painting in front of us in a museum, comments of elite experts and biographers who put the works into context and gradually build the biography of the artist, novel revelations from insiders, in this case coming from one of Picasso's grandchildren, himself an expert in the field. 'Young Picasso' is an artistic and intellectual delight.
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