Tag Archives: Pablo Picasso

BOURGEOIS AND PICASSO — ANATOMIES OF DESIRE

Violence is what pleases me most—I feel at ease in it—I adore frightening people… but after I have atrocious fears… if I do not succeed in expressing myself in violence (in a civilized manner if possible) depression and self-destruction appear.Louise Bourgeois*

Among the commonalities—and there are more than a few—shared by Louise Bourgeois and Pablo Picasso: they both had long, protean artistic careers marked by very strong late period work focused on eroticism and intimacy, often in the form of “the couple.” This point is examined with great sensitivity in the exhibition catalog LOUISE BOURGEOIS & PABLO PICASSO—ANATOMIES OF DESIRE, a masterpiece of scholarship and visual documentation published by Hauser & Wirth in coincidence with the eponymous Zürich exhibition.

Edited by Marie-Laure Bernadac, the show’s curator, the volume presents extensive, beautifully reproduced “intentional pairings” of the artists’ work as well as writings by curators (Émilie Bouvard and Bernadac), a psychoanalyst (Gérard Wajcman), and Bourgeois’ assistant and closest confident during the last thirty years of her life—Jerry Gorovoy.

Of particular interest are essays by Picasso’s granddaughter, the art historian and curator Diana Widmaier Picasso (“Pregnant Woman: In the Work of Louise Bourgeois and Pablo Picasso”) and Ulf Küster (“Femme couteau—Thoughts on an Idea in the Oeuvre of Louise Bourgeois”), the curator whose Fondation Beyeler exhibition A l’infini (2011)—a show of Bourgeois’ sculptures in conversation with work by Fernand Léger, Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, and Picasso—inspired ANATOMIES OF DESIRE.

Bourgeois frequently explored the theme of knife and woman in her art. As is often the case in her work, her subject not only concerns an object but also an action that cannot be seen apart from that object… Her works furthermore seem to have an immediate and urgent presence for her, one that extends beyond their makeup as mere objects; in Camille Guichard’s 1993 documentary, for example, she speaks about sculptures as persons…

It would go too far to cite “animism” in this context, and even the term “fetish” likewise does not seem appropriate because the implied religious aspect is completely lacking in Bourgeois’ oeuvre. But her works are nevertheless charged with her emotions, primarily addressing herself and yet provoking reactions. Her relationship to her own works seems to be of greater significance for her than the relationship of the work to the public.Ulf Küster**

LOUISE BOURGEOIS & PABLO PICASSO—ANATOMIES OF DESIRE, exhibition catalog (Zürich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2019).

LOUISE BOURGEOIS & PABLO PICASSO—ANATOMIES OF DESIRE

Through September 14.

Hauser & Wirth Zürich

Limmatstrasse 270, Zürich.

*Louise Bourgeois, letter to her husband, art historian Robert Goldwater, November 13, 1969, cited in Ulf Küster, “Femme couteau—Thoughts on an Idea in the Oeuvre of Louise Bourgeois,”** in Louise Bourgeois & Pablo Picasso: Anatomies of Desire, exhibition catalog (Zürich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2019), 70–82.

From top: Louise Bourgeois, 1949, photograph by Berenice Abbott; Louise Bourgeois (2), TheConversation, 2007, ink on paper, and Fragile Goddess, 1970, bronze, gold patina, photographs by Christopher Burke; Pablo Picasso (2), La famille, 1970, private collection, photograph by Zarko Vijatovic, and Sibylle, 1921, oil on canvas, courtesy Kunstmuseum Den Haag; Louise Bourgeois (2), Umbilical Cord, 2003, fabric and stainless steel, and stainless steel, glass, and wood vitrine, photograph by Burke, and Louise Bourgeois & Pablo Picasso—Anatomies of Desire, Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, 2019, installation view; Pablo Picasso (4), Le baiser aux fleurs, 1929, oil on canvas, private collection, courtesy Almine Rech, photograph © FABA Photo, Hugard & Vanovershelde Photography, Marie-Thérèse au béret rouge et au col de fourrure, 1937, oil on canvas, photograph by Stuart Burford Photography, La femme enceinte, 1950–1959, bronze, Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, photograph by David Heald, and Le baiser, 1969, oil on canvas, private collection, photograph by Alex Delfanne; Louise Bourgeois (4), Fallen Woman, 1981–1996, white marble, nylon, and thread, Untitled, 2002, fabric, and aluminum, glass, and wood vitrine, photographs by Burke, Nature Study #6, 1995, pink marble, Ursula Hauser Collection, Switzerland, photograph by Francis Jacoby, and Untitled, 2009, fabric and wood, and stainless steel, glass, and wood vitrine, photograph by Burke, courtesy Hauser & Wirth; Pablo Picasso, L’étreinte, 1903, pastel and black chalk on Masonite, courtesy of Christie’s; Louise Bourgeois, Couple, 2002, fabric and hanging piece, and stainless steel, glass, and wood vitrine, photograph by Burke. Pablo Picasso, photograph courtesy and © Ervin Marton Estate, Musée national Picasso-Paris, and Michèle Bellot. All Louise Bourgeois images courtesy and © The Easton Foundation, 2019, ProLitteris, Zürich. All Pablo Picasso images courtesy and © Succession Picasso, 2019, ProLitteris, Zürich.

LITLIT BOOK FAIR

This weekend, join Dagny Corcoran of Art Catalogues, Michaela Unterdörfer of Hauser & Wirth Publishers, artists Alexandra Grant and Paul McCarthy, writers Melissa Broder and Alissa Nutting, and poets Yesika Salgado and Vickie Vértiz—among many others—at LITLIT, the Little Literary Fair, at Hauser & Wirth in downtown Los Angeles.

The fair is presented by the Los Angeles Review of Books and Hauser & Wirth Publishers. See link below for special talks and events, and participating publishers, booksellers, and vendors.

LIT LIT BOOK FAIR

Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21.

11 am through 6 pm.

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Top two images courtesy Hauser & Wirth; third from top courtesy Kaya Press, remaining images courtesy Art Catalogues (open book and “Grass Piece” page images from Lee Lozano, Not Working). Images © the artists and publishers.

JOHN RICHARDSON

“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.

THE WORLDS OF STEPHEN SPENDER

The poet, journalist, novelist, and editor Stephen Spender is the subject of an exhibition at Frieze London, presented by Hauser & Wirth and Moretti Fine Art.

The project explores Spender’s progressive ideas and artistic friendships, and features work by artists he personally knew and/or collected, including Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, David HockneyLucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Giorgio Morandi, Pablo PicassoSerge Poliakoff, and Yannis Tsarouchis.

A beautiful exhibition catalogue—edited by Ben Eastham and formatted in the style of Horizon, the journal Spender, Cyril Connolly, and Peter Watson founded in 1939—includes artwork reproductions, poems by Spender, and essays on his deep affinities with art, literature, and political activism in the 1930s. “On Censorship” by Caroline Moorehead addresses Spender’s connection with its subject through the journal he co-founded, Index on Censorship.

(In the early 1990s, Spender himself prevailed on the court system to prevent the publication of While England Sleeps, David Leavitt’s novel that appropriated stories from Spender’s autobiography World within World and added scenes of gay erotica, which he dismissed as “pornography.” Spender married twice—Natasha Spender was his widow and he was the father of Matthew and Elizabeth—but, as disclosed in his New Selected Journals and letters to Christopher Isherwood and others, Spender’s emotional and sexual life was marked by numerous same-sex relationships.)

THE WORLDS OF STEPHEN SPENDER

Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7.

Frieze London—Hauser & Wirth, Booth D01, Regents Park, London.

The Worlds of Stephen Spender catalogue.

From top: Henry Moore, Portrait of Stephen Spender, 1934. © Henry Moore Foundation. Image credit: Hauser & Wirth.

Exhibition catalogue image credit: Hauser & Wirth. Book design by Fraser Muggeridge studio.

A 1929 photograph of Spender’s German friend Franz Büchner on the cover of the novel The Temple, written in the late 1920s and finally published in 1988. Image credit: Faber and Faber.

Below: W.H. Auden (left), Stephen Spender, and Christopher Isherwood in 1931.

PICASSO CERAMICS

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A turning point in the artistic life of Pablo Picasso was his 1946 visit to a ceramics exhibition in Vallauris, after which—for the next several decades—he produced over 4000 works in ceramic.

PICASSO CERAMICS, the beautiful catalogue from the recent Louisiana Museum of Modern Art exhibition in Denmark, is available now through Artbook/D.A.P.

 

PICASSO CERAMICS (Humlebæk: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2018).

artbook.com

Pablo Picasso, ceramic plate.

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