Picasso: Gongora, an artist book (un “livres de peintres”)
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When the Surrealists resurrected sixteenth-century Spanish poet Luis de Gongora y Argote in the 1920's, "the father of modern poetry" (according to Lorca) was a generative source of material for Picasso's visual and verbal imaginations. Drawing on 20 sonnets from Gongora, Picasso has redrawn the words and scenes from poetic memory. Drawing out and decorating the text of the poems created works in and of themselves, which the artist elaborated on in 20 matching figurations of the poems as portraits. The darkly flourishing words and profiles are Picasso's celebration of that encounter staged between language and image in poetry, imbuing the artist book with a tension and generosity that makes true tribute to the poet's subjects, as well as to that voice or eye that addresses you from beyond the picture plane, the page, or the poem.
Intro. by John Russell.
Ill. by Pablo Picasso (20 orig. portraits; Handwritten reproductions of the poet’s text).
Poetry by Luis de Gongora y Argote (16th c.).
Trans. from the Spanish by Alan S. Trueblood.
Orig. pub. by Les Grands Peintres Modernes et le Livre (Paris: 1948; Ed. of 275).