Early Picasso and Cubism
David Gariff, senior lecturer, National Gallery of Art. After shattering representational tradition with cubism, which he developed with Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso became the artistic visionary against whom most others measured their creativity throughout the 20th century. Born in Málaga, Spain, in 1881, Picasso attended art schools and aligned his sensibilities with bohemian writers and artists in Barcelona and Madrid. After early work inspired by El Greco, symbolism, and the sinuous curvatures of art nouveau, Picasso began to find his own vision. The art he made from 1905 to 1915 unleashed a torrent of originality culminating in the birth of cubism, among the 20th century’s most revolutionary art movements. As part of the series Celebrating the East Building: 20th-Century Art, senior lecturer David Gariff explores the contributions made to 20th-century modernism by Picasso, Braque, and their peers. This lecture was presented on July 24, 2018, at the National Gallery of Art.