Surrealism

The two factors triggered at the same time: Picasso’s new muse Marie-Therese Walter, whose “fascinating face” he desiderated to picture, immediately notifying his new female friend that “we will do great things together”, and the closeness to the circle of Andre Breton. It was in the gallery of Pierre in 1925 that Picasso first took part in a group exhibition of the Surrealists (before that, his works were presented at the personal exhibitions only).

The first issue of La Revolution Surrealiste published a photograph of Picasso’s design from 1914, in the second issue there were two pages devoted to the artist’s drawings, and the fourth issue (07.15.1925) published a reproduction of the scandalous "The Young Ladies of Avignon", created 18 years earlier. It was due to Breton that the painting’s canvas was rolled out, retrieved from a dark corner of the workshop and sold to a collector named Jacques Doucet. In an article on Picasso from the same fourth issue, Andre Breton analyzed the causes of own admiration of the artist and concluded that “reality is not limited to what we see”, and that “artist had to grasp the model, or the ‘internal concept’”. The numerous portraits of Marie-Therese that make up the surrealist legacy of Picasso can be called the understanding of the model.

In such paintings as "Woman with a Flower (1932)", "Girl before a Mirror (Marie-Therese Walter) (1932)", "Lying Naked on a Red Cushion (Marie-Therese) (1932)" and others Picasso was exploring his latest model like a child, who disassembled a new toy to see what was spinning and beeping inside it. As a study subject, the body is separated into pieces; the fragments twist and fold in a new way. It is as if the artist is trying to figure what will happen if he puts the pieces this or that way.

However, the flowing lines and “coziness” of Marie-Therese’s portraits do not exclude the emergence of other works, which could be signed with Breton’s credo: “Beauty is either convulsive or it is not there”. The first work in which the artist experimented with sorting of human parts and folding them into new combinations was "Three Dancers (1925)". In 1930, Picasso created another piece full of expression, the "Crucifixion", which is considered a landmark on the way from Three Dancers to "Guernica (1937)".

It was the same period that numerous bathers were created, some of whom were marked with a couple of color spots ("Bather Opening a Cabin (1928)"), other paintings contain yet another vivisection of the female body and the construction of monsters from its constituents: "Bather with Arms Raised (1929)", "Seated Bather on the Beach (1930)", "Young Girl Throwing a Rock (1931)", and "Figures at the Seaside".

To summarize Picasso’s seven-year wandering in the wilds of Surrealism: “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them”.

Pablo Picasso. The Three Dancers, 1925
The Three Dancers, 1925
Pablo Picasso. The Face, 1926
The Face, 1926
Pablo Picasso. Woman in an armchair, 1927
Woman in an armchair, 1927
Pablo Picasso. Figure, 1927
Figure, 1927
Pablo Picasso. Bather Opening a Cabin, 1928
Bather Opening a Cabin, 1928
Pablo Picasso. Bather, 1928
Bather, 1928
Pablo Picasso. Metamorphose I (female character), 1928
Metamorphose I (female character), 1928
Pablo Picasso. Nude on a Beach, 1929
Nude on a Beach, 1929
Pablo Picasso. Nude on a Beach, 1929
Nude on a Beach, 1929
Pablo Picasso. Nude on a Beach, 1929
Nude on a Beach, 1929
Pablo Picasso. Nude in an Armchair, 1929
Nude in an Armchair, 1929
Pablo Picasso. The kiss, 1929
The kiss, 1929
Pablo Picasso. Acrobat, 1930
Acrobat, 1930
Pablo Picasso. Crucifixion, 1930
Crucifixion, 1930
Pablo Picasso. Figures on a Beach, 1931
Figures on a Beach, 1931
Pablo Picasso. Young Girl Throwing a Rock, 1931
Young Girl Throwing a Rock, 1931
Pablo Picasso. Nude and Still Life, 1931
Nude and Still Life, 1931
Pablo Picasso. Jug, cutting fruit and foliage, 1931
Jug, cutting fruit and foliage, 1931
Pablo Picasso. Nude in an Armchair, 1932
Nude in an Armchair, 1932
Pablo Picasso. Nature morte- Bust, cutting and pallet, 1932
Nature morte- Bust, cutting and pallet, 1932
Pablo Picasso. Woman with a Flower, 1932
Woman with a Flower, 1932
Pablo Picasso. The Dream, 1932
The Dream, 1932
Pablo Picasso. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932
Pablo Picasso. Head of a Woman, 1932
Head of a Woman, 1932


All surrealistic works by years