6 AUGUST 2022

Dr Michael Adcock, social and cultural historian in the 6 August U3APP seminar, The Picasso Century gave us some wonderful tools to inform our visit to the National Gallery of Victoria’s current blockbuster exhibition.

How to capture the artistic achievements of Pablo Picasso? Michael borrowed from Winston Churchill’s description of Russia “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

Michael attempted to deconstruct the riddle – the child prodigy born in Barcelona, tutored by his artist father who finds his artistic flowering in turn of the century Paris. Picasso was a student of the old masters at the Louvre, drew inspiration from fellow artists, literati, street life, travel, African masks and of course collaborators and lovers. In the period covered in the seminar (1889 until 1918) Picasso’s work went through significant stages – frenzied lover of modern life, blue period, rose period, “primitive” phase, cubism. What an insight we received into this versatile, complex, and capricious great man.

Michael is keen for people to visit the Exhibition. His advice- avoid the crowds, give yourself time, if necessary, borrow an NGV folding chair.

We are indebted to Mark Denniston, U3APP member and art lover for organising and facilitating another wonderful presentation by Dr Adcock.

 A video recording of seminar is available HERE

Report by Pam Caven

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