“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr.

On this Martin Luther King Day as the SAM Picasso exhibit many of us visited closes, we ponder Picasso.  Although they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum in personal integrity and ego and perhaps what they gave the world, both men were revolutionary and they approached their passion with faith in the endeavor, as Martin Luther King Jr. repeatedly expressed with words like those above.

Picasso gave us unending innovation. The most ground-breaking, of course, was Cubism. In Cubism the subject matter is broken up, analyzed, and reassembled in an abstracted form. Picasso and Braque initiated the movement inspired by Cézanne, who said artists should treat nature ‘in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cone.’ Cezanne also painted his subjects from slightly different points of view at the same time, which tended to “flatten” objects. In their Cubist paintings Braque and Picasso exaggerated that idea and began to bring different views of the object together on the picture plane. ‘A head’, said Picasso, ‘is a matter of eyes, nose, mouth, which can be distributed in any way you like. The head remains a head. 

We are going to play with both ideas–deconstructing and reassembling while not being able to “see the staircase” as we climb it.  Just as always in painting (and for me, in life), have faith in the endeavor, not necessarily the outcome.

Bring fresh substrate and all materials, even adhesive for collage.

For a look at some of the master’s works check out this link:


(There is an even better one, but the link seems to be broken.  It is called The Online Picasso Project through Sam Houston University.)

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