To provide a comprehensive, honest profile of an artist can be a demanding task, to say the least, especially to create an unbiased, even critical profile of someone so loved and honored. Especially someone as complicated and genius as Picasso. That is exactly what John Banville believes TJ Clark is capable of doing as Banville explains in this article.
TJ Clark is that odd combination, a Marxist and a Nietzschean; he is also a great critic. His love for and understanding of Picasso’s work is evident in every line of this book, which is based on the text of the Mellon Lectures delivered at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He is an incomparably close reader of paintings, and the acuity of his thought, allied to a sweeping breadth of reference, makes him the ideal interrogator of Picasso and his achievement.
Nothing is more excellent than to hear intelligent people speak about art, of any type, with a certain intelligence and insight no one else can provide:
“I cannot avoid the conviction that somewhere at the heart of Picasso’s understanding of life . . . lay an unshakeable commitment to the space of a small or middle-sized room and the little possessions laid out on its table. His world was of property arranged in an interior: maybe erotic property . . . but always with bodies imagined in terms that equate them with, or transpose them into, familiar instruments and treasures.”
Banville quotes Clark
How we at Core wish we could attend such a lecture.
This may seem typical artists criticism, but Clark goes deeper and is not afraid to criticize despite popular opinion of this excellent artist in order to provide a truer view, a task not to be taken lightly considering the wealth of people sure to write a critic off for negatively commenting on an old great such as Picasso.
So let us know what you think! Have we found THE voice on Picasso or is Banville just hyping us up? Leave us a comment below.