Photography: Two Centuries of History and Images
Much has been said and written about Picasso’s life and art, but until now his self-portraits have never been studied and presented in a single book, perhaps because the artist always left many doubts about his work. However, there is no doubt that Picasso represented himself ceaselessly, whether in a dashed-off pencil sketch, as a flourish at the bottom of a letter, or on a giant canvas.
At the suggestion of Picasso’s widow Jacqueline, the distinguished art historian Pascal Bonafoux began researching Picasso’s self-portraits more than forty years ago. This meticulously researched book presents the fruits of his decades-long project. From the first attributed painting in 1894 as a thirteen-year-old boy, until Picasso's final self-portrait in 1972, a year before his death, Bonafoux charts the evolution of the artist's life and art. Here is Picasso as a student; as a young bohemian; an impetuous artist in Paris; as harlequin; as lover, husband and father; and finally, as an old man confronting his mortality. The book comprises about 170 drawings, paintings and photographs, some from private collections and previously unpublished, bringing together for the first time the attributed self-portraits of this genius of 20th-century art.
Walter Guadagnini, director of CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia in Turin, teaches History of Photography at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. Head of the Galleria Civica in Modena for ten years, he is currently artistic director of the Festival Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia and has curated exhibitions in international museums and institutions. Since 2006 he has been in charge of the photography section of “Il Giornale dell’Arte”, and has conceptualized and edited the four volumes of Photography. A History 1839–Now (Skira) with contributions from leading international historians and critics of photography.