“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” – Pablo Ruiz Picasso
Pablo Picasso is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the 20th century, having a profound impact on later artists such as Willem de Kooning and David Hockney.
Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881. His father, a painter and professor of art, groomed the young prodigy to be a great artist by getting his the best education the family could afford and visiting Madrid to see works by Spanish Old Masters.
Picasso travelled frequently during his early life, spending time in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, where he became immersed in avant-garde circles, rapidly transitioning from new-classicism through his Blue Period (said to have been sparked by the major depression he fell into following the suicide of his friend, Carlos Casagemas) to Cubism, which he co-founded with George’s Breque. He also expressed himself through collage, sculpture and ceramics. In the late 1920s he collaborated with Julio González to create welded metal sculptures which were subsequently highly influential.
Deeply affected by the Spanish Civil War, he created ‘Guernica’, an overtly-political statement depicting the carnage of the bombing of civilians in the Basque town, painted with jagged shapes in sombre greys.
He spent most of his adult life in France, even staying in Paris during the Nazi occupation during World War II.
Picasso was prolific to say the least – more than 20,000 artworks spanning his lifetime from childhood to his death in 1973, and his influence has been profound and far-reaching.