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Pablo
Picasso was one of the most recognized and most influential artist of the
modern era who created thousands of works, not only paintings. Except paintings
he also worked on sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints and stage designing.
He was responsible for the invention of cubism, surrealism, expressionism and
more which were the most influential of all the movements in twentieth century.
He helped to develop and explore wide variety of styles such as invention of
constructed sculptures and co-invention of collages. He was very passionate on
paintings and drawings during his childhood so, he got formal training from his
father and learned about oil painting and figure drawing. As the time went on,
he diversified to sculpting, ceramics and stage designing, and his style
changed along with his experiment on different theories, techniques and ideas.

          At the age of 16 when Picasso went to
Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando for his further study, he made his first
trip to Paris where he saw the works of impressionists at the Louvre. His visit
to Louvre changed his vision of art completely and so called Blue Period came
to his life which lasted from 1901 to 1904. In Blue Period most of his art
works were dominated by green and blue-green color and he applied various
techniques such as blurred techniques to divisionism and expressionism. The
main theme he chose during the Blue Period were mostly blind people, old,
beggars, alcoholics and prostitutes. After overcoming the sadness from Blue Period,
Rose period came to his life which lasted from 1904 to 1904. The Rose period
was the manifestation of Picasso’s improved spirits so, in most of his paintings
he used warmer colors which included beiges, pinks and red. He used this warmer
color because at that time he madly fell in love with Fernande Olivier.
Additionally, his theme also changed from sad characters to funny characters
like harlequins, circus people, acrobats and strolling musicians. Then the next
period called cubism period came to his life which lasted from 1907 to 1912
when he developed newforms of painting including sharp geometric shapes. Along
with his friend Georges Braque, Picasso developed analytic cubism using
monochrome brownish and neutral colors. One of the greatest work of art during
this period was “Les Demoiselles d’ Avigon,” which depicted five prostitutes in
a brothel. This painting was an original exploration of modernism in art and
this work of Picasso became the inspiration of cubism

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          Cubism technique was all about
breaking the objects apart and re-assembling in an abstracted from along with
highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting them from multiple
viewpoints to create college like effects. Then after cubism period, there came
a Classical Period from 1920 to 1930, in which most of his works were dominated
by the experimentation and he also changed his style to the more traditional
one. Due to the World War I, there was a great change in his art which depicted
of reality of that time period. His art form was changed from abstract to the
distorted form and as an avid believer of experimentation he started to work on
new philosophy known as surrealism. This is the period when he created most
outstanding work of this time “Guernica” which was a testament for the
brutality in humanity and vicious nature of war.

         Later. In his life Picasso not only
worked on paintings, but he also worked consistently on sculptures and devoted
himself to sculpture wholeheartedly. During his life time he made around 1228
sculptures using both traditional and unconventional materials and techniques.
In mid-1949, Picasso exhibited his work of art in the 3rd Sculpture
International held at the Philadelphia Museum of art (Gopnik, 2011). Though he was not formally trained
like in paintings, Picasso approached the sculpture medium with the freedom of
a self-taught artist. Picasso was an experimental artist who was never
satisfied with only one form of art so, his creativity and experiment led him
to develop a deep fondness for his sculptures. He cherished the sculptures by
re-creating them in variety of material. He was responsible for defining the
elements of plastic arts which led society towards societal advances in
sculptures because at time no one imagined of manipulating materials that had
not previously been carved or shaped. Those plastic like materials could be
molded in different ways which would give the three dimensions to the art (Kachur, 2015).

            In his early sculptural work, Picasso mostly
use clay, plasters, wax and wood to create his sculptures and later he started
using unique materials such as wires and precious metal. As an experimental
artist he never stopped himself from inventing revolutionary sculpture art
though he lacked formal training in sculpture making. His experimental mind
created and dominated an array of art disciplines and mediums which made him an
inventor of the assemblage sculpture. His approach to assembling incorporated
of everyday objects into the composition which broke all the rules since the
entire philosophy of cubism relied on fragmentation. In 1912, Picasso’s
“Guitar” was a founding work of twentieth century sculpture which was made up
of paper, cardboard, glue, tape, painted wire, pins, twin, and string. The
guitar was an example of a three-dimensional object which was a showcase of
Picasso’s interest for space and found materials. His creation of guitar
initiated the new process of construction known as assemblage which was opposed
to traditional techniques of modeling or craving solid masses. The guitar
defines three-dimensional volumes made by adding pieces together which was
different from sculpture of the western tradition of subtracting with a chisel and
awl (Poggi, 2012).
This sculpture of Picasso was mounted on the wall, which showed the results of
positive forms as we can see the articulation of the central body of guitar
through the planes that circumscribe its edges. Similarly, the neck of the
guitar emerging from the hollow of a curved strip of paper form a positive
space. With the incorporation of everyday objects in his collages and
sculpture, Picasso turned a way of using traditional materials and gave a
greater respect for the resources, the found objects and the playful game of
associations.

          The art of assemblage was originated
as a method practiced by major artists like Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet,
Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Jose De Creeft in the twentieth century
using the materials and objects around them as vehicles of expression. As, we
learned in this unit about the assemblage, I have decided to compare and
contrast the sculpture made by the Pablo Picasso and the originators of shadow
boxes, collages and film maker, Joseph Cornell. In this unit we can see the
example of assemblage sculpture of untitled (The Hotel Eden) which was created
on 1945 as an example of assembled box college. Cornell was considered one of
the greatest American Surrealist whose most characteristic art works were boxed
assemblages created from found objects.

           In most of his assemblage art works, he used
the materials such as boxes, photos, maps written poems, titles, thoughts,
glue, tape, trinkets, bric-a-brac, etc. By using these materials, Cornell used
to create visual poems in which surface, form, texture, and light his various
interests: such as the creation of Soap Bubble Sets, the Medici Slot Machine
Series, the Pink Palace series, the Hotel Series, the Space Object Boxes and
Aviary Series. Among these series, Cornell mostly worked in Aviary Series
because of his interests on birds, in which colorful images of various birds
mounted on wood, cut out, and set against harsh white backgrounds (Niedenthal, 2002). One of the best
example of this series was “Untitled: The Hotel Eden”, in which the chief
emblem is a caged parrot, the innocent resident of Hotel Eden. Though the bird
is secluded behind material frames, but Cornell wanted to symbolize is as an emblem
of freedom. Similarly, we can see the piece of black thread at the top part
which seems to represent orbits and end up to the birds’ beak and the bottom of
the box seem to represent emptiness. By seeing this art, it can be interpreted
that the thread represents a spiral link between the various material which are
al interconnected and the elements used in his box such as two pieces of paper
stuck at the bottom which are worn out represents the passage of time and the
“Hotel Eden” alludes to a lost paradise. Also, the egg that is at the top of
the parrot might symbolize renewal of life.

           
The similarity between Picasso’s and Cornell’s art of assemblage is that
both artists created a sculpture with assemblage of recyclable materials in
association with the reality, both of the artists produced three dimensional
compositions to create original art by using natural or manmade objects in
their compositions. Also, both were historical artist from 20th
century. When talking about the differences both artists used different
materials to create their art for example, Picasso used paper, card board,
glue, painted wire pin, twin and strings to make guitar whereas Cornell used
boxes usually glass fronted, papers, threads, images of renaissance paintings
and old photographs to make the Hotel Eden art. Picasso was mostly known for
creating sheet metal guitars whereas Cornell was known for creating assembled
boxed collages. When considering the design most of the work done by Cornell was
compressed into boxes often behind the glass from where he created an encoded
private world whereas Picasso’s works were assembled with sheets of metal along
with open and constructed form.

            Therefore, the assemblage process
was the result of experiment which challenged the visual system used in Western
art for almost five hundred years. Though this process was criticized by many
traditional artists, the term assemblage stuck and became the artistic process
for other artists like Marcel Duchamp, Vladimir Tatlin and Louise Nevolson etc.
This process of making art gave a new dimension in the history of art by
redefining the stuff a creativity of using everyday found materials.

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