Based on new research, this book’s approach to Picasso’s work is different from the traditional one, prioritizing a historical context that offers keys for its interpretation from a modern perspective, linking it to other intellectual traditions.

The eleven essays in this volume comprise an approach to the work of Pablo Picasso that is a far cry from the predominant focus of books on Picasso over the last few decades, which were primarily based on formal, semiological and biographical aspects.

To what extent has social, economic, political and cultural history been reflected in Picasso’s paintings, sculpture, drawings and engravings? How do historical and cultural conditioning factors determine the way we perceive him? In what way to historical factors affect how other artists appropriated his legacy? Thanks to his wide range of artistic languages and the impact of his work on other artists in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Asia, Picasso is considered the world’s first global artist. He lived his long life connected to periods of great upheaval in different geographic locations, which were linked to the transformation of modernity. Picasso was no stranger to clashes of political ideology, the struggle against colonialism and the psychological impact of modernization.

The eleven essays in this volume comprise an approach to the work of Pablo Picasso that is far from the predominant focus of books on Picasso over the past few decades, which have mainly been based on highlighting the formal, semiological and biographical aspects. However, the idea of prioritizing historical context has benefitted the knowledge of Picasso’s work in two ways: firstly, by framing and linking his artistic output with specific geographical locations and periods of history. Secondly, it justifies the impact of his legacy on the work of artists and intellectuals from places far away from the European-U.S. circuit. The authors of these essays are mainly professors from distinguished universities: Pepe Karmel, David Cottington, Neil Cox, Charles W. Haxthausen, Eugenio Carmona, Sônia Salzstein, Rocío Robles Tardío, María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco, Stephen Petersen, Joshua I. Cohen and José Lebrero Stals.

Jointly edited by Museo Picasso Málaga and Editorial Machado, “Picasso and History” is divided into two periods, 1910-1945 and 1945-1970. The first of these analyses Picasso’s beginnings in Paris, Cubism and the avant-garde, with the focus on at the inter-war period and the rise of Fascism and writings on the issues of gender and sexuality, amongst others. In the second, the authors look at the advent of the Franco regime, analysis of the long post-war period and the Cold War, and the process of decolonization. These are subjects to which Picasso devoted much thought, much of which manifest in his work, sometimes explicitly and sometimes with more subtlety. But these ideas all influenced his activity and creations.

Related Exhibition

The Paris of Brassaï

Photographs of the City Picasso Loved