Abstract painting

When Picasso almost invented abstract painting

The artist may have been influenced by his main dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who evidently refused to buy all but one of the works he made that summer. A 1910 portrait of Kahnweiler, begun before Picasso’s trip to Cadaqués and completed after his return to France, reveals the new direction that Picasso’s art would take. He began to add “attributes” to his paintings – a tie, a pipe, an earlobe – small signs that indicated what object was depicted.

Later, in the 1920s, Picasso began to publicly denounce abstraction. Bois notes that, as far as he is aware, Picasso had made no comment on the style prior to this point. The comments came “precisely when the abstract art was making noise and felt a bit threatened,” he explained. “The threat being: I’m not the most avant-garde there is anymore.”

In a 1928 interview, Picasso declared: “I have a horror of so-called abstract painting… When you stick colors next to each other and draw lines in space that don’t correspond to anything, the result is decoration. The floodgates had opened; in 1935, the painter affirmed: “There is no abstract art. You always have to start with something. Then you can remove all traces of reality. So there is no danger…because the idea of ​​the object has left an indelible mark.

A third, later argument held that it was impossible to completely eliminate the subject from a painting. “Even if the canvas is green, so what? In this case, the subject is greenery!