35 years since Pablo Picasso’s death
Picasso - a unique figure in contemporary art
Pablo Ruiz Picasso became a prototype of modern artists as a public figure who, by consciously deciding to unify his art and life, figuratively and literally dominated the art scene of his time.
His huge opus of twenty-two thousand works is divided between two cities that had a crucial role in his life - Paris and Barcelona. There was no art movement in the 20th century that he did not take part in or at least influence. Therefore his complex and contradictory opus, in spite of many attempts to classify it into periods or styles as well as critical interpretations such as those that came from feminist circles, still escapes unambiguous definitions. So after the melancholy expressionism of the “blue” and “pink” phase, it is time for rotation and mutual permeation of cubism and surrealism with the rediscovered classicism, deformation of human forms into monstrous forms with Dionysus’s celebration of nature.
A great influence on the formation of Picasso’s artistic personality stems from his Spanish cultural heritage, from El Greco to Velasquez. It defined his sensibility and first sources of inspiration and he always came back to it in his quest for the answer to the question of what constitutes art. Picasso’s works reflect those influences. His Les Demoiselles d'Avignon from 1907 is one of the greatest challenges of modern art. It stimulated various reactions: rage in his contemporaries because he dared to deconstruct the existing rules of beauty as well as entire exhibitions inspired by this painting and the revelation that it is a unique artistic work in the history of art that powerfully draws the viewer into its own world and turns him into a participant of its action.
However, according to the criteria of historical avant-garde about the fusion of art and the world in which it is created and in which it may survive, maybe his most important work is Guernica, the wall painting that has been shown in many exhibitions all over the world as a dramatic outcry and a warning for human suffering before World War I. Without any bias its allegory visual language is still alive, understandable and topical to this day. (Jasna Galjer)