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Picasso and the Allure of Language

Susan Greenberg Fisher
With Mary Ann Caws, Jennifer R. Gross, Patricia Leighten, Irene Small, S. Zelda Roland, and Katherine M. Wyman

2010 Runner-Up, Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue, Association of Art Museum Curators

2010 Silver Medal, Fine Art Books, Independent Publisher Book Awards

This is an exceptionally thorough volume: original in insight and engagingly written. Max Fletcher, Burlington Magazine

[A] stylish book that is a must for fans of the Spanish master. —Artists and Illustrators

[A] crucial starting point for understanding [that writing and drawing are the same act] in the artist’s work and serves as a unique introduction to many of his most celebrated pieces. —Stefanie Sobelle, Bookforum

Patricia Leighton highlights stream of consciousness as a major literary influence … [and the book] reveal[s] Picasso as more susceptible to external influences and pressures than perhaps he would have liked anyone to know. —Estella Shardlow, Art Newspaper

Throughout his life, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) had close friendships with writers and an abiding interest in the written word. This groundbreaking book, which draws on the collections of Yale University, traces the relationship that Picasso had with literature and writing in his life and work.

Beginning with the artist’s early associations with such writers as Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, and Pierre Reverdy, the book continues until the postwar period, by which time Picasso had become a worldwide celebrity. Distinguished authorities in art and literature explore the theme of Picasso and language from historical, linguistic, and visual perspectives and contextualize Picasso’s work within a rich literary framework. Presenting fascinating archival materials and written in an accessible style, Picasso and the Allure of Language is essential reading for anyone interested in this great artist and the history of modernism. 

Buy online from Yale University Press

272 pages / 7 1/2 x 10 inches / 155 color and 56 black-and-white and color illustrations / Copublished with Yale University Press / 2009
  • Paperback with flaps ISBN 978-0-30013-546-6
    Price $40; Members $32