The Pictorial Equivalent of Emotion: A Critique of Picasso, 1911

Above:  one of my paintings from  April 20, 2017

Marius de Zayas (1880-1961)

“Picasso tries to produce with his work an impression, not with the subject but the manner in which he expresses it. He receives a direct impression from external nature, he analyzes, develops, and translates it, and afterwards executes it in his own particular style, with the intention that the picture should be the pictorial equivalent of the emotion produced by nature. In presenting his work, he wants the spectator to look for the emotion or idea generated from the spectacle and not the spectacle itself.” Marius de Zayas, 1911

Marius de Zayas was a member of the artistic circle that gathered around around photographer Alfred Stieglitz in the the early years of the 20th century. A noted journalist, collector, and dealer, de Zayas staged the first showing of Picasso’s work in the United States in 1911.

I read de Zayas’ critique of Picasso for the 55th volume of the Nonfiction Collection.

You can read de Zayas’ essay here.  It was published in Steiglitz’ magazine Camera Work, 1911/1912.


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