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LEIGHTEN, P.D. " Picasso : Art and Anarchism, 1897-1914 "
Article published on 6 June 2004

by r-c.
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Rutgers University, 310 p. Ph.D., 1983 1897

DAI, VOL. 45-01A, Page 0002

Rutgers University, 310 p. Ph.D., 1983 1897

DAI, VOL. 45-01A, Page 0002

This dissertation proposes a critical revision of Picasso’s cubist period, still too often viewed in the purely formalist terms promoted by Picasso himself in the 1920s and most critics of the movement until the last decade. "By considering the influence of anarchist ideas—especially as they were formulated and embraced in Spain—on Picasso’s work from his Barcelona period to World War I, this study demonstrates that in his cubist works Picasso also draws upon iconographic and personal sources for his art.

…Chapters II and III seek to illuminate the relation of Picasso’s anarchist thought to specific works of his youth and of his later Blue, Rose, and African period, with special attention to the Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Chapter IV considers Picasso’s cubist period, traditionally thought of as his most highly abstract. But a close reading of the newspaper clippings incorporated into the collages shows them to be reports and accounts of the public events that heralded the approach of World War I, which had special resonance for an artist deeply tied to the anarchist, antimilitarist traditions of Barcelona and daily immersed in the raging arguments over the European-wide war acknowledged everywhere to be threatening.

A concluding chapter looks at Picasso’s work during World War I, Guernica and his response to the Spanish Civil War, and his joining the French Communist Party in 1944".


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