New scholarship on a little-known decorative commission undertaken by Pablo Picasso offers insight into the artist’s painting process and the evolution of Cubism
In 1910, Pablo Picasso began a series of 11 decorative paintings intended for the Brooklyn residence of American artist, collector, and critic Hamilton Easter Field. This publication is the first in-depth examination of this commission which, despite never being completed, offers new insights into a little-known chapter in Picasso’s art that coincided with a critical moment in the development of Cubism. Based on new research, including letters and archival material from both Picasso and Field, this book shows how the unrealized commission challenged Picasso to move beyond easel painting and adapt Cubist forms to an immersive aesthetic experience. Authors investigate the progression of Cubist ideas and show how Picasso used Easter Field’s proposal as a place of experimentation by both subverting and paying homage to decorative painting traditions. Published to coincide with Celebration Picasso, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s death, this compact volume provides a compelling look at what might have been, as well as a fascinating portrait of art and patronage in the early twentieth century.
Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (September 12, 2023–January 14, 2024)
Anna Jozefacka is an independent scholar. Lauren Rosati is assistant curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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