PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)

Tête

Details
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Tête
signed and dated '15.8.72. Picasso' (upper left)
charcoal and wash on paper
25 ½ x 19 ½ in. (64.8 x 49.5 cm.)
Executed on 15 August 1972
Provenance
Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, by whom acquired directly from the artist.
Shoneman Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner on 10 December 2003.
Literature
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 33, Oeuvres de 1971 à 1972, Paris, 1978, no. 503, pl. 173 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso, 172 Dessins en noir et en couleurs, 21 Novembre 1971 - 18 Août 1972, December 1972 - January 1973, no. 166, p. 112 (illustrated).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot essay

…the last seven years of Picasso’s life constituted a Great Late Phase, one in which he felt free to do whatever he wanted, in whatever way he wanted, regardless of correctness, political, social, or artistic.”

John Richardson

Aged 90, Picasso was, at the time he executed the present composition, still working with an indefatigable zeal. Residing with his wife, Jacqueline Picasso in their large home in the south of France, known as Notre-Dame-de-Vie, the artist was living in more or less seclusion, rarely travelling and entertaining only intimate groups of close friends when he so desired. Having said this, Picasso’s last years were amongst his most productive, resulting in bold, stylistically vigorous works as he sought to fight the marching of the clock: 'I have less and less time,’ he would say ‘and I have more and more to say’ (J. Richardson, Late Picasso: Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings, Prints 1953-1972, exh. cat., London, 1988, p. 85).


It was drawing which served as a vehicle for the artist’s meandering thoughts, desires and his vivid imagination at this time; as he stated, 'I spend hour after hour while I draw, observing my creatures and thinking about the mad things they’re up to; basically it’s my way of writing fiction' (ibid., p. 29).


Executed in August 1972, Tête is one of a group of images of men that Picasso created during this period, often taking on different guises: many of these appeared to be evolutions of the theme of the painter and his model, upon which Picasso had recently focussed, but also included a number of related images of men either smoking, or showing a bearded figure, bald or, like in the present work, with hair.

Picasso’s confrontation with the human face, which makes him into the great portrait-painter of the twentieth century, brings him back to a confrontation with himself, the painter, young or old.”

Marie-Laure Bernadac
image
Pablo Picasso, Buste d’homme, 1906-1907. Musée Picasso, Paris. Artwork: © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2021. Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Mathieu Rabeau.

There is an element of self-portraiture to them, a notion that is reinforced in the present work by the distinctive hair line, so reminiscent of the artist's own. It recalls the depiction of Picasso's hair in the series of early self-portraits executed in 1906, one of which, currently in the collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris, still remained in Picasso’s studio in Mougins during the 1970s.

image
Buste d’homme hanging in Picasso’s studio at Notre-Dame-de-Vie, Mougins, 1967. Photograph by Edward Quinn. Artwork: © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2021. Photo: Edward Quinn, © edwardquinn.com

Picasso's pictures are often palimpsests, filled with layers of meaning and implications. In this series of portraits, executed towards the end of his life, the artist appears to be looking both forwards and backwards, reflecting on his youth while also contemplating his present, and future, self.

image
Present lot illustrated.

Lot Essay Header Image: Present lot illustrated (detail).

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