Picasso Black and White - Carmen Giménez

For over seventy productive years, through his many periods and recurring subjects, Pablo Picasso always returned to explore the monochromatic palette—in graphite and charcoal drawings, plaster, ceramic, or bronze sculpture, and his luscious oil paintings in black, white, and a rainbow of grays. For the exhibit, Picasso Black and White (Guggenheim/Prestel, $60), curator Carmen Giménez has chronologically assembled works from 1904 to 1971, and it’s a revelation. Picasso’s career-long improvisations on themes, styles, and the masters who came before him are especially evident; you see inspired riffs on ancient cave art, Greek sculpture and Roman mosaics, as well as on Ingres, El Greco, and Velásquez. Studies for Picasso’s masterpiece in monochrome, Guernica (1937), are here as well. The catalog features more than 150 reproductions, and essays by Picasso scholars Dore Ashton, Richard Schiff, and Olivier Berggruen. András Goldinger (Note: The exhibit will be at the Guggenheim through January 23, 2013, then travel to Houston.)