John Berger examines Picasso's fame and loneliness

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 05:00 hrs

Madrid, Feb 26 (IANS/EFE) Picasso was fascinated and committed totally to his own creativity, and what he created, the finished product, was nearly accidental, John Berger writes in "Fama y soledad de Picasso" (The Success and Failure of Picasso), an intimate look at the Spanish master's life and work.

The revised edition of the book, published by Alfaguara, includes a new essay in which Berger, a winner of the Booker Prize, examines the roots of Picasso's genius.

The biography follows the Spanish master from his birth in Malaga to his blue period, Cubism, the creation of Guernica and the etchings of his last years.

Berger's preface, dated 1987, notes that when the book first came out in 1965, Picasso was still alive and the work was criticized for "being insolent, insensitive, doctrinaire and perverse".

The author, who was born in London in 1926, is considered one of the most distinguished contemporary art critics and one of Britain's most important 20th-century writers.

Berger begins the book by noting that Picasso, who lived from 1881 to 1973, was "wealthier and more famous than any other artist who has ever lived".

"His wealth is incalculable. I will mention only one of his assets. He has a collection of several hundred of his own oil paintings, kept from all periods of his life," Berger writes.

Picasso spent the last years of his life surrounded by a court, and he was the king, the writer says.

The Spanish master adopted France and France adopted him, Berger says.



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