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Picasso's Brothel: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Andersen, Wayne

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1590510232 / ISBN 13: 9781590510230
Published by Other Press, 2002
Condition: As New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Picasso's Brothel: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Publisher: Other Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

About this title

Synopsis:

Few paintings have been as extensively analyzed as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and yet, according to Wayne Andersen’s radical new interpretation of the painting, it has been repeatedly misrepresented and misunderstood by biographical novelizing and reductive psychoanalysis. Andersen seeks to rescue the painting from the myths that obscure its origins, which depict it variously as an outburst of rage against his live-in lover, or as an act of vengeance for Picasso’s having contracted syphilis from a prostitute; such myths are the source of the artist’s reputation for misogyny. Looking back to the original sources of these stories, Andersen identifies a catalog of errors, passed from one author to another, which have distorted our view of Picasso.

By studying X-rays of the finished canvas, Andersen reconstructs a “lost” version of Les Demoiselles, a first completion prior to the artist’s “epiphany” at a display of African masks that inspired him to rework the painting. By refuting the scholarly assumption that the grotesquely painted heads of three of the figures are integral to Picasso’s first conception, he shows that the original composition provides no evidence of Picasso’s alleged horror of women.

Supported by 200 illustrations, including 12 color plates, ranging from Picasso’s drawings and paintings to contemporary pornography and photographs of prostitutes in brothels, Andersen’s provocative arguments establish Picasso as a man who wrested sexuality from the aesthetics of art, and created a new and revolutionary way of seeing for the 20th Century.

Written in clear, accessible prose, this book will spark another round of Picasso scholarship, and appeal to the general reader, the art historian, and the psychoanalyst alike.

WAYNE ANDERSEN is Professor Emeritus, History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of seven books, including Gauguin’s Paradise Lost, named a New York Times “Book of the Times”, and Freud, Leonardo da Vinci and the Vulture’s Tail (Other Press, 2000). He has lectured at several universities and art museums across the United States and abroad, and he has published essays and reviews on subjects ranging from Italian Renaissance to 20th-Century art.

Critical Acclaim for Wayne Andersen's Freud, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Vulture’s Tail

“Wayne Andersen is an infectious writer and an infectious thinker. His book on Leonardo and Freud has all the ingredients that make for an excellent read, where one learns as much about Freud as about Leonardo, and about Andersen himself in the bargain.” —James Beck, Professor of Art History, Columbia University

“The most fascinating autobiographical experiment that I have read since Erik Erikson’s Young Man Luther.” —Thomas Rosenthal

“A brilliantly complex and audacious book. One could not expect the amount of truth that Andersen brings forth.” —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

About the Author:

Wayne Andersen is Professor Emeritus, History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of seven books, including Gauguin's Paradise Lost and Freud, Leonardo da Vinci, and The Vulture's Tail (Other Press). He has lectured at several universities and art museums across the United States, as well as in Denmark, Norway, France, Switzerland, and Australia, and published many essays and reviews on subjects ranging from Italian Renaissance to twentieth century art.

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Art History Professor¿s Bookshelf sells art books acquired by a distinguished art history professor over several decades. The books range from rare, out-of-print art monographs to contemporary exhibition catalogs. The books are mostly, but not exclusively, about Western European painting and sculpture, as well as American art since World War II. The vast majority of the books are as new.

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