Picasso Theatre

Douglas Cooper, Author ABRAMS $75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-0396-8
Picasso's interest in the theater animated his early pictures of harlequins and actors, symbolic presences on the stage of life. Then, in collaborations with Diaghilev and Massine, he designed sets and costumes for quirky ballets such as Parade, Mercure and Pulcinella. During World War II, he wrote an experimental six-act farce. Direct involvement in the theater gave the artist a chance to make his cubist inventions concrete; it also broadened his knowledge of the human body's expressive capacities. First published in 1968 and long out of print, this scrapbook with 500 illustrations includes an essay gauging the influence of the theater on Picasso's work. Drawing on material from circus and bull-ring, from cabaret and sideshow, Picasso created an illusory pictorial world, then thrust himself or his viewpoint into the spectacle. Cooper shows that even a painting such as Guernica draws its power from dramatic conventions. (November)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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