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  • Picasso′s Demoiselles: The Untold Origins of a Modern Masterpiece

    Author(s):
    Pages: 368
    Illustrations: 353 illustrations, incl. 8 page color insert
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $109.95 - Not In Stock
    978-1-4780-0005-1
  • Paperback: $29.95 - Not In Stock
    978-1-4780-0019-8
  • “It is a condition of masterworks that they attract, even demand, interpretation and reinterpretation. Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a case in point. In 1946, Alfred Barr called it ‘a battlefield of trial and experiment’ marking ‘the beginning of a new period in the history of modern art.’ Twenty-six years later, Leo Steinberg argued that its psychic and pictorial ‘violence’ resides in its power of displacement, in ‘the startled consciousness of a viewer who sees himself seen.’ Others have examined its ‘primitivism’ and l’art negre as central to its power and originality. Now, Suzanne Blier, through a close textual and visual analysis of an astonishing range of references, argues that Picasso’s creativity ‘involved both drawing on and subverting the past’ while reimagining the present and creating the future anew. Blier's study rewards close reading, just as the painting rewards close and sustained looking.” — James Cuno, President and CEO, The J. Paul Getty Trust

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  • Description

    In Picasso's Demoiselles, eminent art historian Suzanne Preston Blier uncovers the previously unknown history of Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of the twentieth century's most important, celebrated, and studied paintings. Drawing on her expertise in African art and newly discovered sources, Blier reads the painting not as a simple bordello scene, but as Picasso's interpretation of the diversity of representations of women from around the world he encountered in photographs and sculptures. These representations are central to understanding the painting's creation and help identify the demoiselles as global figures, mothers, grandmothers, lovers, and sisters, as well as part of the colonial world Picasso inhabited. Simply put, Blier fundamentally transforms what we know about this revolutionary and iconic work.

    About The Author(s)

    Suzanne Preston Blier is Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and the author and editor of numerous books, including Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity c. 1300.
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