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Lecture and Conversation Series: Pablo Picasso at Yale

In this four-part lecture and conversation series, John Walsh reviews the work of the revolutionary and prolific artist Pablo Picasso, with particular attention paid to works in the Gallery’s collection.

About the Series

Pablo Picasso's First Steps painting.

This March, John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, returns to explore the work of the most revolutionary and prolific artist of the 20th century. He pays close attention to the important works by Pablo Picasso in the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection, weaving them in among examples from all over Europe and America. Picasso is a household name; countless people have seen his pictures, but not always with pleasure and often with bafflement. Walsh reviews Picasso’s early development and his role in creating Cubism, the most radical invention in pictorial art since the Renaissance. He shows how the artist moved away from the most severe forms of Cubism, inventing influential new variations in the course of his 70-year career. For some, this series offers an introduction to Picasso and, for others, a review of his achievements.

A new lecture will be released on YouTube every Thursday in March at 12:30 pm EST, and a live conversation with Walsh that reflects on the lecture will follow on Zoom every Friday in March at 12:30 pm EST. Registration is required for the conversation only.

Generously sponsored by the Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund.

Lecture and Conversation Videos

Friday Conversation Series Schedule

Pablo Picasso, Café Scene, 1900. Oil on panel. Yale University Art Gallery, Transfer from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Gift of Alice B. Toklas to the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature
Friday, March 5, 2021, 12:30 pm

The boy prodigy, academically trained, transplanted himself at age 20 to the fertile soil of the Parisian avant-garde. Following the first lecture of the series “Pablo Picasso at Yale,” join John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Laurence Kanter, Chief Curator and the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, for a conversation. Registration required; register at https://bit.ly/3aszCui.

Pablo Picasso, Dog and Cock, 1921. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903
Friday, March 12, 2021, 12:30 pm

For Picasso and Georges Braque, still life was a lab for pictorial experiments. Following the second lecture of the series “Pablo Picasso at Yale,” join John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Joanna Fiduccia, Assistant Professor, Department of the History of Art, for a conversation. Registration required; register at https://bit.ly/3aszCui.

Pablo Picasso, Standing Nude, 1910. Pen and ink. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Walter Bareiss, B.S. 1940S
Friday, March 19, 2021, 12:30 pm

Lovers, portrait sitters, bathers, mythological creatures—all were material for Picasso’s expressive manipulations. Following the third lecture of the series “Pablo Picasso at Yale,” join John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Keely Orgeman, the Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, for a conversation. Registration required; register at https://bit.ly/3aszCui.

Pablo Picasso, First Steps, 1943. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Friday, March 26, 2021, 12:30 pm

Picasso treated great themes of older art, from peace and war to youth and old age. Following the fourth and final lecture of the series “Pablo Picasso at Yale,” join John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Molleen Theodore, Associate Curator of Programs, for a conversation. Registration required; register at https://bit.ly/3aszCui.

Recommended Reading and Resources

The literature on Picasso is immense. Here the lecturer has selected especially useful books in English, along with exhibitions and an online resource of note.
 

On the Period

Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change. London: Thames and Hudson, 1991.

Shattuck, Roger. The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I. New York: Vintage Books, 1955. Revised ed., Vintage Books, 1968.

Russell, John. The Meanings of Modern Art. 12 vols. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1974–75.
 

On Cubism

Cooper, Douglas. The Cubist Epoch. London: Phaidon, 1970.

Fry, Edward. Cubism. London: Thames and Hudson, 1966. Revised ed., Thames and Hudson, 1978.

Golding, John. Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907–1914. London: Faber and Faber, 1959. 3rd ed., Faber and Faber, 1988.

Rosenblum, Robert. Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1960.
 

On Picasso’s Life

Gilot, Françoise, and Carlton Lake. Life with Picasso. New York: McGraw Hill, 1964.

Olivier, Fernande. Loving Picasso: The Private Journal of Fernande Olivier. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001.

Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 1, The Prodigy, 1881–1906. New York: Random House, 1991.

Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 2, The Cubist Rebel, 1907–1916. New York: Random House, 1996. 

Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 3, The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.

Stein, Gertrude. Picasso. London: Batsford, 1938. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1984.
 

Further Studies 

Blier, Suzanne Preston. Picasso’s Demoiselles: The Untold Origins of a Modern Masterpiece. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2019.

Clark, T.J. Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2013.

Galassi, Susan Grace. Picasso’s Variations on the Masters. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

McCully, Marilyn, ed. A Picasso Anthology: Documents, Criticism, Reminiscences. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.

Rubin, William, Hélène Seckel-Klein, and Judith Cousins. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994.

Schiff, Gert. Picasso in Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1976.

Steinberg, Leo. Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art. London: Oxford University Press, 1972. Reprint, Oxford University Press, 1976. 

Steinberg, Leo. “The Philosophical Brothel.” October44 (Spring 1988): 17–74.

 

Exhibitions

Cubism and Abstract Art (Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 2–April 19, 1936)

Picasso: Between Cubism and Classicism 1915–1925 (Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, September 22, 2017–January 21, 2018)

Picasso: The Early Years, 1892–1906 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., March 30–July 27, 1997; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, September 10, 1997–January 4, 1998)

Picasso and Things: The Still Lifes of Picasso (Cleveland Museum of Art, February 26–May 3, 1992; Philadelphia Museum of Art, June 9–August 30, 1992; Grand Palais, Paris, September 22–December 28, 1992)

Matisse and Picasso (Forth Worth, Tex.: Kimbell Art Museum, February 2–May 2, 1999)

Picasso: Challenging the Past (National Gallery, London, February 25–June 7, 2009)

Picasso and the Allure of Language (Yale University Art Gallery, January 27–May 24, 2009; Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, N.C., August 20, 2009–January 3, 2010)

Picasso: The Artist’s Studio (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Conn., September 6­–23, 2001)

Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar  (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 13­–May 1, 1994; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 12–September 4, 1994; Art Institute of Chicago, October 8, 1994–January 8, 1995)

Late Picasso: Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings, Prints 1953–1972 (Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, February 17–May 16, 1988; Tate Gallery, London, June 23­–September 18, 1988)

Interpreting Matisse, Picasso (Tate Modern, London, May 11–August 18, 2002; Grand Palais, Paris, September 25, 2002–January 6, 2003; Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 13–May 10, 2003)

Picasso and the War Years, 1937–1945 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, October 10, 1998–January 3, 1999; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 5–April 26, 1999)

Picasso and the Age of Iron (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, March 19–May 16, 1993)

Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism (Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 24, 1989–January 16, 1990)

Picasso and Portraiture (Museum of Modern Art, New York, April 28–September 17, 1996; Grand Palais, Paris, October 1996–January 1997)

Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 22­–September 16, 1980)

Picasso: The Last Years, 1963–1973 (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, January 23–March 9, 1984)

Picasso Sculpture (Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 14, 2015–February 7, 2016)
 

Online

Online Picasso Project: https://picasso.shsu.edu.
A large database of literature, images, and other documentary material maintained by Dr. Enrique Mallen.