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Homme et Femme
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Homme et Femme
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Homme et Femme

US
NY, US
US

About the item

Pablo Picasso, Homme et Femme\nDated 2.7.71 and 28.7.71 and numbered I on the reverse\nOil on canvas\n45 5/8 by 35 in.\n116 by 89 cm\nPainted on July 2 & 28, 1971.
US
NY, US
US

notes

Homme et Femme belongs to a group of large scale paintings on the theme of lovers that Picasso began in November 1968 and continued to painted until the last months of his life.  These oils are distinguished for their highly charged eroticism, which manifests to varying degrees of explicitness in each canvas (see figs. 1 and 2).  "Art is never chaste," Picasso famously remarked.  The present work, created in the last years of his life, makes the most out of that observation with this candid depiction.   In this picture, Picasso has monumentalized the couple, depicting them as vulnerable and sexual characters in a primordial state of nudity.   While it is commonly understood that these late depictions of men and women were references to Picasso and his wife Jacqueline, their greater significance as images of universal Man and Woman was a poignant statement for the artist at the end of his life.  It is his entire life's work has finally reached its conclusion with these representations of male and female bodies in their most primal states.

David Sylvester discussed the "raw vitality" that distinguished both the early and late Picasso: "The resemblance of figures in the 'Demoiselles' and in late Picasso to masked tribal dancers is as crucial as their scale in giving them a threatening force. It is irrelevant whether or not particular faces or bodies are based on particular tribal models: what matters is the air these personages have of coming from a world more primitive, possibly more cannibalistic and certainly more elemental than ours. Despite the rich assortment of allusions to paintings in the Renaissance tradition in favor or an earlier one, the flat unperspectival space of, say, medieval Catalan frescoes... At twenty-five, Picasso's raw vitality was already being enriched by the beginnings of an encyclopedic awareness of art; at ninety, his encyclopedic awareness of art was still being enlivened by a raw vitality" (David Sylvester, Late Picasso, Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings, 1953-1972, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1988, p. 144).

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Pablo Picasso

exhibited

Avignon, Palais des Papes, Exposition Picasso, 1970-1972, 1973, no. 72, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Couple)

dimensions

45 5/8 by 35 in. 116 by 89 cm

literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, oeuvres de 1971-1972, vol. 33, Paris, 1978, no. 83, illustrated pl. 29

The Picasso Project, Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Final Years 1970-1973, San Francisco, 2004, no. 71-222, illustrated p. 191

provenance

Estate of the artist

Jacqueline Picasso (acquired from the above)

Christine Ruiz-Picasso (daughter-in-law of the artist, acquired from the above)

Valery, Geneva

Knickerbocker Fine Arts, New York

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Weingrow, Long Island (in 1990)

Waddington Galleries, London

Private Collection, The Bahamas (acquired from the above in 1995)

Private Collection, Toronto

Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, Florida

Acquired from the above in 2002 by the present owner





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