Tag Archives: John Richardson


Early in May 1930, Picasso was horrified to discover that a number of early works he had left in the family’s Barcelona apartment for safekeeping had been stolen and were being offered for sale on the Paris market. After realizing the extent of the theft—391 drawings and ten paintings—he brought a lawsuit against the perpetrators… The fight to get his early work back would last eight years. It would stir up a storm of animosity and set Picasso against his mother and his sister’s family in Barcelona…

“How well I understand,” Picasso concluded, “why papas and mamas tell their children to stop scribbling on bits of paper. The brats don’t realize the difficulties this will create in the future.” John Richardson, A Life of Picasso*

The exhibition PICASSO AND PAPER explores the artist’s manipulation of the medium, bringing together his prints, studies, collages, letters, illustrated poems, photographic collaborations with Dora Maar, and endless drawings—on artist’s paper, on newsprint, on napkins, “scribbling on bits of paper.”


Through April 13

Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London.

*John Richardson, A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), 403, 407.

Pablo Picasso, Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy of Arts, January 25–April 13, 2020, from top: Violin, 1912, laid paper, wallpaper, newspaper, wove wrapping paper and glazed black wove paper, cut and pasted onto cardboard, pencil, charcoal, Musée national Picasso-Paris, photograph © Mathieu Rabeau; Seated Woman (Dora), 1938, ink, gouache, and colored chalk on paper, Fondation Beyeler, photograph by Peter Schibli; “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” after Manet I, 1962, linocut on Arches wove paper (printed by Arnéra in six passes), Musée national Picasso-Paris, photograph © Marine Beck-Coppola; Self-Portrait, 1918, pencil and charcoal on wove paper, Musée national Picasso-Paris, photograph © Mathieu Rabeau; Bust of Woman or Sailor (Study for “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”), 1907, oil on cardboard, Musée national Picasso-Paris, photograph © Adrien Didierjean; Head of a Woman, 1962, pencil on cut and folded wove paper from an album sheet, Musée national Picasso-Paris, photograph © Béatrice Hatala. Photographs © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris); images © Succession Picasso / DACS 2019.


“On February 6, 1954—not quite halfway through my twelve years with Douglas [Cooper]—I turned thirty. Douglas planned a birthday celebration that would also serve as a belated housewarming. But on February 5, the arctic chill that had paralysed much of Europe turned even fiercer, and for the first time in decades Castille was beautifully blanketed with a heavy fall of snow… We put the party off until Easter.

“On Easter Sunday… some of us went to the bullfight… In the course of the corrida, Picasso and Jacqueline [Roque] announced that they and the rest of their group—sixteen in all, including Picasso’s son, Paulo… and Jean Cocteau, plus entourage—would like to dine at Castille; he also announced that he had a present for us… an Ingresque drawing that had obsessed me ever since I first saw it pinned on a wall at Le Fournas: an uncompromisingly frontal image of a naked girl, legs wide apart, seated like an odalisque on a pile of cushions. It had been heavily worked. To create highlights and smudge shadows, Picasso used an eraser—a device he admitted borrowing from Matisse… I was surprised at his giving us something so personal until I realized that the gift must have been made at Jacqueline’s behest. She would have had every reason to want this erotic image removed from the studio wall: it represented one of her rivals, Geneviève Laporte. Characteristically, Picasso brought the drawing in the box that had contained the Dior wrap we had given Jacqueline for Christmas. No less characteristically, he kept the box; he liked to incorporate emballage in his work. As Picasso handed over the drawing, he said, presciently, ‘When you two split up, you’re going to have to cut it in half.’ After we broke up, Douglas simply kept it. Sadly, the drawing disappeared when Castille was burgled some years later. So far as I know, it’s still in the hands of the Mafia.” — John Richardson*

The writer, curator, collector, raconteur, art world insider, and great Picasso biographer John Richardson died in Manhattan this week. Volume IV of A Life of Picasso was nearly complete at the time of its author’s death, and should be published later this year.

*John Richardson, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), 203–204.

Also see John Richardson, “Picasso: The Mediterranean Years,” in Picasso: The Mediterranean Years, 1945–1962 , exh. cat. (London: Gagosian Gallery/New York: Rizzoli, 2010), 11–45.

From top: John Richardson (left) and Pablo Picasso, photograph by André Villers (detail), courtesy Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and ADAGP, Paris; Andy Warhol, John Richardson, courtesy Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Richardson with Nan Kempner at the Met Gala, circa 1980, photograph by Patrick McMullan; Richardson (right) with Boaz Mazor, circa 1975, photograph by Bob Colacello.


Image result for lou lou marina schiano opium

“This book is an oral biography of Paris fashion between the glittering years when Loulou was the light between all the characters.” — André Leon Talley

Christopher Petkanis LOULOU & YVES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF LOULOU DE LA FALAISE AND THE HOUSE OF SAINT LAURENT is a massive oral history centered around the life and times of YSL muse and employee Loulou de la Falaise.

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Among the voices heard from in the book are those of Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland, Thadée Klossowski, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Hubert de Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, Maxime de la Falaise, Diane von Furstenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Nicky Haslam, Elsa Peretti, Betty Catroux, John Richardson, Kenneth Jay Lane, Alber Elbaz, Christian Louboutin, Grace Coddington, Ben Brantley, Jane Ormsby Gore, Bruce Chatwin, Amy Fine Collins, Patrick Bauchau, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Pierre Bergé, Talley, and Loulou herself.

See: us.macmillan.com/book

Top: Marina Schiano, Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent, and Steve Rubell at the Opium launch party, New York City, 1978.

Above: Thadée Klossowski, Paloma Picasso, and YSL. Polaroid by Andy Warhol.

Below: YSL and de la Falaise.

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