"You take a canvas, divide it up like a checkerboard... and go from there." - Man Ray

John Richardson: The Art of Picasso 1927-1973
John Richardson: The Art of Picasso 1927-1973
About the film

The celebrated art historian John Richardson has devoted his life to writing the definitive biography of Pablo Picasso. 

This film, John Richardson: The Art of Picasso 1927-1973, captures Richardson as he is writing the fourth and final volume of the biography.

He shares his insights and observations on this period in Picasso’s life, whom Richardson first met in the 1950s, with Shelley Wanger, his editor at Penguin Random House.  And we are given intimate tours of the three ground-breaking exhibitions Richardson curated at the Gagosian gallery during his research for the fourth volume.

Other voices included in the project are Picasso’s muse, Françoise Gilot, who has commented on select works that Picasso created when they were together during the 1940’s – early 1950’s. Gilot’s son, Claude Picasso with observations on the artist’s sculpture, Lucien Clergue (who photographed Picasso, his family and retinue), and other individuals with first hand recollections of the artist.

The film travels from Richardson’s loft to Picasso museums in Barcelona, Spain to Antibes in the South of France, as well as the bullfighting ring at Arles, where Picasso, Richardson, and friends spent many an afternoon together.

The film combines rigorous art historical analysis with vivid and entertaining storytelling, and showcases more than 500 artworks by and photographs of Picasso. The film offers important insights on Picasso’s artistic themes and work of the last 40 years of his life.

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