Art of the Year - 1972

Monday, May 14, 2018
Art of the Year - 1972

The 1970’s art world showed the continued influence of movements from the 1960’s such as Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and Performance Art. Art of the Year - 1972 - Self Portrait Facing Death, Pablo Picasso.

The 1970’s art world showed the continued influence of movements from the 1960’s such as Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and Performance Art. The mid-70’s brought the return of painting as a serious medium for avant-garde artists. Feminist Art, Land Art and Photorealism also became increasingly prevalent during this era, largely due to evolutions in the broader social and political climates. 

Self Portrait Facing Death, Pablo Picasso, Painting, 1972. 

Pablo Picasso worked up until the day he died at age 91, literally painting until 3 a.m., hours before his death on Sunday, April 8, 1973. His last well-known self-portrait, entitled Self Portrait Facing Death, was completed less than a year before his passing. The piece was made with crayon on paper and took several months to finish. A friend, Pierre Daix, tells of his memory of the piece on a visit to Picasso: ‘[Picasso] held the drawing beside his face to show that the expression of fear was a contrivance.’ Then on another visit 3 months later, Pierre recalled that the harsh colored lines were deeper: ‘He did not blink. I had the sudden impression that he was staring his own death in the face.’ There is much commentary about the piece. People talk about the fear of death Picasso had and how terrified his eyes look. They reference his deep lines of age, and the work as symbolic of Picasso's confrontation of death.

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Koen van den Broek (B. 1973) Orange Border, 2001

Koen van den Broek (B. 1973) Orange Border, 2001

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