Picasso and the Minotaur: A Chapter in Modern Mythmaking - AAIA Visiting Professor Clemente Marconi

Picasso and the Minotaur presented by AAIA Visiting Professor

Thu 22 Aug 2019 6:00pm7:30pm


Social Sciences Building (24), UQ, St Lucia

Presented by AAIA Visiting Professor Clemente Marconi

Part of a large project concerning the reception of Greek art by twentieth-century artists, this presentation focuses on the work of Pablo Picasso as a sculptor. In the first part, I systematically discuss Picasso’s engagement over the years with Greek and Roman art, including his artistic training in Spain, his early years as a modernist artist in Paris, his “second classical period” of 1917–1925, and his graphic art of the 1930s, such as the Vollard Suite. In the second part, I explore the paradox according to which, in spite of the artist’s continuous and explicit references to Greek and Roman art in his paintings and graphic work, only a handful can be found in his sculptures. Actually, an essential aspect of Picasso’s sculptures, thus far overlooked in the literature, is the strident dissonance in material, form, and subject between Picasso’s sculpture and classical sculpture. In his work as a sculptor, Picasso generally avoided any compromise with the classical tradition, constantly pursuing his modernist agenda, unlike his painting and graphic work. An inescapable conclusion is that it was precisely the artist’s closeness to ancient art that allowed him to drastically subvert tradition and transform sculpture, changing the course of this medium in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.



About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Classics and Ancient History seminars are followed by a wine-and-cheese reception ($2 coin donation per person). Enquiries about the seminars may be made to Associate Professor Tom Stevenson.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for 2019 can be found at http://www.friendsofantiquity.org.au.