The Emotion of the Blot: the influence of Paris on Picasso

The exploration of new techniques in picture-making, which was a crucial concern for the artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, did not pass unnoticed by the young Pablo Picasso.

Arnau Puig front of the The Wait (Margot)

The philosopher and art critic Arnau Puig has invited us to rethink again the work and the style of the artist and his contemporaries, tracing out and analysing some of the pictures in the temporary exhibition “Feasting on Paris. Picasso 1900-1907“. The following is a brief summary:

When he arrived in Paris in 1900, Picasso brought with him the baggage of personal and professional experiences he had acquired during his time in Barcelona and in Horta de Sant Joan. All of this accumulated experience allowed the artist to capture the changes that were taking place and incorporate them into his work, to enrich it.

The discovery of Paris not only marked the beginning of a new phase in Picasso’s life, but it was also the revelation of a creative universe that was taking shape an environment in which art was everywhere. The influence of photography as an increasingly widespread technique for capturing reality, along with emerging artistic tendencies such as the Nabis movement and Impressionism, converged in a new conception of painting.

Attendees during the session “Let’s Talk about Painting”

As Arnau Puig demonstrated, these shifts in aesthetic perception were reflected in an abandonment of the pursuit of objectivity in favour of an unrepentant subjectivity. In this context, the constrictions of technique could be dispensed with in order to emphasize the impact of a scene. Painting thus placed itself at the service of emotion, and the brushstroke became the means of constructing a gesture, an expression, a feeling.

‘A line is a drawing. Perhaps a blot is a language.’ With this observation the critic sought to make clear the contrast between two different ways of understanding art, two completely divergent visions of the world.

If you haven’t visited the exhibition yet, hurry up! You have until Sunday, October 16th!

Isabel Moreno
Intership at the Museu Picasso as part of her Master’s in Cultural Management at the Universitat de Barcelona

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