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Picasso, foreigner, anarchist, subsequently suspect

Popping out of the “Picasso stranger” exhibition, the thought that involves thoughts just isn’t: “Why this manner of wanting on the most well-known artist of the 20th century?e century? However « Why solely now, nearly half a century after his demise? » « . Wouldn’t it nonetheless be unbecoming at the moment to say how a lot Picasso (1881-1973) was for a very long time mistreated by the French State and its administrations?

The details are nevertheless easy: born in Spain, having completed nearly all of his work in France, Picasso however remained till his demise an emigrant who by no means obtained French nationality. It was refused to him till the Second World Struggle. Afterwards, it’s not helpful to him. His fame, his fortune and even his connections with communism now make him a star. French museums, which have ignored him till then, court docket him to obtain donations, and the movie by Henri-Georges Clouzot The Picasso Thriller obtained the Particular Jury Prize on the Cannes Movie Pageant in 1956. At the moment, the issue of his administrative standing not arose.

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Police and tax archives …

However earlier than ? The topic is handled with readability within the exhibition designed by historian Annie Cohen-Solal and within the ebook she is publishing concurrently, A stranger named Picasso (Fayard, 748 pages, 28 euros). Each comply with chronological order. Each are based mostly on an anthology of works and a powerful quantity of archives.

The works are, for some, very well-known: the well-known Little woman with a flowered basket, of 1905, and the no much less illustrious Man with mandolin, from 1911. Others are much less so, landscapes by an artist reputed little on this style, however who’s nonetheless the creator of the surprisingly luminous Café in Royan – surprisingly, as a result of painted in August 1940 – and Smoke in Vallauris, of January 1951, during which the geometries of his cubism of yesteryear shine by.

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Drawings and engravings seize moments and locations in his life: Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine) in 1917, rue La Boétie in 1920, Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne) in the summertime of 1921, the manoir du Boisgeloup ( Eure), from 1930, the assorted residences on the Côte d’Azur then. This biography in photos, which ends on the fort of Vauvenargues (Bouches-du-Rhône), is the spine of the story.

Picasso, foreigner, anarchist, subsequently suspect

On this canvas are hooked up rather more humble objects: letters in amount, by hand or by machine, in Spanish or in French, and, above all, printed matter and declarations that needed to be accomplished, reviews with badly readable signatures. These are the elements of the “Picasso file”, recomposed by looking out in administrative archives. These are of 4 varieties: police, tax, banking and museums. Nevertheless instructive are these which fall throughout the final three classes, they can not compete in curiosity with the primary, as a result of these present how a lot the artist is held, till the Liberation, for suspect within the eyes of the companies of the Prefecture of police. .

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