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June 1, 2009

Picasso at 9


Dove and Dog (c. 1890). Paper cuttings. 5 x 8.5 cm. and 6 x 9.2 cm. Museo Picasso, Barcelona.

"These two small pieces show the skill of a child who was capable of cutting out any shape that he fancied for his own amusement and that of his cousins and sisters, using paper and scissors. Analysts of his work see in these examples a precedent of the collages and paper sculptures pertaining to his Cubist Period as well as of the later models and sculptures in metal plate. In any case, there is no doubt that many years later he recalled this technique when he created similar figures for his children to play with."

The two works are currently on display in Malaga, part of the Museo Picasso's show, "Picasso's Late Sculpture: Woman," up through August 30, 2009.

Wrote Julius Purcell in a May 27, 2009 Financial Times review, "Lola and Conchita would request an animal. 'Start with the claw this time,' they might say, then they’d crowd around their brother. The scissors would snick the blank paper, from which would fall an effortless Newfoundland, a hen or a dove."

"Little Pablo never drew an outline before turning out his precocious découpages for his sisters. The tale (whose source is little Pablo himself) offers a useful foreshadowing of the later showman attended by admiring females, but it would just be another piece of folksy Picassiana were it not for the proof offered at Malaga’s Picasso Museum’s new show. Dated 1890, somewhat yellowed now, the nine-year-old's tiny paper dog can be seen with spiky fur under the chin, while the dove’s wing is suggested by an artful cut. It’s hard to tell which is more miraculous, the survival of these frail party pieces or the miniaturist bravura of their child creator."

June 1, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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