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VHS format. From A & E's Award Winning Series. Pablo Picasso. As a painter, he challenged the world's ideas about what art should be. As a man, he pushed the boundaries of society to the limit. As an icon, he is revered by many as the greatest creative mind the world has ever seen. Picasso spent his life destroying convention. He is considered one of the most important artists of all time - but he sacrificed almost all who were close to him to achieve that status. This feature-length portrait follows Picasso from his childhood in Spain through the many phases of his seventy year career.
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This two-hour program in A&E's Biography series thoroughly documents the life and work of Picasso. Subtitled A Primitive Soul, Picasso's Spanish roots are depicted in detail through the images that reoccur in his work as a painter. His father was a painter, although Picasso quickly surpassed him and is quoted as having said, "In art, one has to kill one's father." In Paris he quickly rose to fame, supported by fellow artists and collectors, although he was haunted by his main competitor, Matisse. Major biographers of Picasso, including John Richardson, comment on the complexities of his life and creativity, his passions for women, his overriding ambition, his competitive nature, as well as his remarkable talent at creating new styles of painting by taking from other artists. As one commentator states, "He was always a thief." Big shifts in his work occurred with each new sexual relationship. This program aptly conveys the multitude of his relationships, many of which were happening simultaneously. Enamored by his children when they were young, Picasso lived off the energy of those around him. He remained terrified of death and of being alone. After Franco came to power, he vowed he would never return to Spain under his rule. In 1944, he joined the Communist party and remained loyal to it for the rest of his life. This program is extraordinarily well researched and serves as an eloquent testimony to Picasso's creativity and influence on developments in modern art. --Anne Barclay Morgan
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