Q&A: Picasso

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The dialogues in this book take place during the last decade of Pablo Picasso's life in his last home, at Mougins in the south of France. As well as reported conversations, they are based on the artist's published statements and a small number of reliable interviews. Married twice, but having also had many other relationships, Picasso left a trail of emotional destruction in his wake. Marie-Therese Walter, his lover of the 1920s and 1930s, committed suicide in 1977. His last wife, Jacqueline Roque, did the same in 1986. One of Picasso's three legitimate grandchildren, Pablito, died after drinking bleach in reaction to being excluded from the artist's home on his death. These stories hint at Picasso's enormous personal magnetism. But whatever we may think of him as a person, he was the most renowned artist of the 20th century and one of the most prolific and important innovators in the history of modern art. His work continues to be controversial, with some critics regarding large swathes of his output as whimsical daubs, others seeing him as the most important visual artist of our epoch. This book not only brings to life a man of unusual intelligence and exceptional creativity but also encourages the reader to look afresh at Picasso's art.