Friday, June 11, 2010

Today's Thought on Picasso

Extreme expressionistic stylization of visual phenomena is all well and good, but in order to depict the stylized figure, it is:

(a) necessary to develop an idiom of representation which is stylized in an artistically worthwhile way and
(b) necessary to develop an idiom of representation sufficiently unrealistic that its departures from reality do not read as mistakes.

Property (b) is absolutely vital. If you don't do it, it doesn't look stylized. It just looks like you can't draw. A critic once said of Gauguin that he simply didn't draw well enough.

I think this problem, insufficient and inconsistent stylization, is what made the idea occur to the critic.

Picasso is a master of this type of figural stylization, the "I meant to do that" effect.

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