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Prints and Drawings
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Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973
Author: Tristan Tzara, Swiss, 1896–1963

De mémoire d’homme (In Living Memory)

1950

Book, with 9 lithographs

sheet: 33 × 25.3 cm (13 × 9 15/16 in.)
The Ernest C. Steefel Collection of Graphic Art, Gift of Ernest C. Steefel
1958.52.170
In 1949 the founder of the Dada movement, Tristan Tzara, asked Picasso to contribute illustrations to his recently completed book-length poem “De mémoire d’homme.” To create his images, Picasso experimented with a new technique, using his finger rather than a lithographic brush as the painting instrument. He also limited himself to three types of mark making: the fingerprint or spot, the line “painted” with the finger, and the line drawn in lithographic chalk. By doing so, he draws a direct analogy between the written and pictorial mark: just as words are created from a finite repertoire of letters, his illustrations are created from a finite repertoire of marks.
Geography: 
Made in France
Culture: 
Spanish
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Books
Bibliography: 

Susan Greenberg Fisher et al., Picasso and the Allure of Language, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009), 9–10, 100, 142, 185, 195–201, 203, no. 26, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.