Guitar, Sheet music and Wine Glass | The Painting of Pablo Picasso

“In Guitar, Sheet Music, Glass, Picasso assembled his collage from seven pieces ofpaper, cut and pasted to a wallpaper ground. Each of these pieces of paperremains a discrete representational element within the composition, which as awhole represents a guitar hanging on a wall. …[T]he central portion of theguitar’s body appears as a negative shape, defined only by the paper elementsthat surround it. …The effect of transparency is all the more remarkable in thecollage for having been achieved with opaque and clearly flat shapes. Againstthe seemingly transparent surface of the hollow and partly overlapping the bluebridge of the guitar, Picasso pasted a white circle representing a sound hole,thereby reenacting the reversal of recessed and projecting forms that hadanimated the constructed “Guitar”. This reversal is, however, just one example ofthe many figure / ground reversals that traverse the whole of Picasso’s collageproduction. In Guitar, Sheet Music, Glass, each element is at once a figure to be readagainst the wallpaper ground and a miniature field of representation in its ownright and therefore functions as a synecdoche of the picture as a whole. Themost obvious example of this may be the white rectangle bearing the depiction ofa Cubist glass, but each of the other pieces of paper have also been treated asrepresentational surfaces. Moreover, … pictorial signifiers in this collage seem totake on value only because of the relational system within which they areimbedded. The guitar is given conflicting profiles, curved on the left,straight-edged on the right. These formal antinomies are repeated in the smalldrawing of the glass, again with the curved profile appearing at the left and thestraight-edged at the right.

“Picasso, … takes special delight in newspaper titles, often choosing to engagein a play of all the possible puns contained in the word journal, which is also thegeneric name of all newspapers. One of the better-known examples is Guitarand Wineglass, … in which “LE JOU” (The game) appears just above the title ofan article, “LA BATAILLE S EST ENGAGE [E] (The battle has begun). Thisphrase has been interpreted as alluding both to the Balkan Wars and to thebegin
ing of the challenge of collage itself as a new pictorial form.”

guitar-sheet-music-and-wine-glass Picasso_Guitar_Sheet_Music_and_Wine_Glass_1912 sheet

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