Jed Perl re-considers Picasso on the occasion of the newly renovated Musée Picasso in Paris and two New York shows: Picasso and Jacqueline: The Evolution of Style at Pace Gallery (through January 10) and Picasso and the Camera at Gagosian Gallery (through January 3).
Perl writes:"Picasso as he emerges at the Pace and Gagosian galleries and at the Musée Picasso is less the pioneering modernist of Cubism than a figure unto himself, certainly alert to history in all its forms, but intent on shaping those experiences through the particulars of his own experience, which is inevitably a personal history. In what is perhaps his most famous statement, made in 1923, Picasso rejected the idea of his art 'as an evolution, or as steps toward an unknown idea of painting.' 'To me,' he said, 'there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all.' Cubism, Picasso said, was not 'an experiment which is to bring ulterior results,' but an art that was meant to 'live its own life.' And that is what we see in Picasso’s art today—an art that is living its own life."