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Looking at Picasso

Pepe Karmel


A major new survey that offers fresh insights on Pablo Picasso's artworks, written by a leading authority on the master

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A Sunday Times Art Book of the Year

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. This important new monograph, released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the artist's death, presents Picasso's unparalleled achievements in all media: painting, sculpture, drawing and prints. Art historian and curator Pepe Karmel offers fresh analysis of this great master for a 21st-century audience, considering Picasso's work through the lens of art rather than biography. He demonstrates how Picasso's style, evolving over the course of seven decades, introduced visual languages and narratives that transformed modern art.

Arranged chronologically by themes and movements, Looking at Picasso is profusely illustrated with renowned paintings, such as the provocative Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and his monumental Guernica, protesting the horror of war; these are accompanied by numerous lesser-known works, including Picasso's daring sculptures and his animated reinterpretation of Velazquez's 17th-century masterpiece Las Meninas.

This engaging book will appeal to museum-goers curious to learn more about Picasso's career and anyone interested in modern art.


'If you have been living under a rock in 2023, you will not have noticed that this year was the 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso. The rest of us couldn’t avoid it. Countless exhibitions, events and books commemorated the occasion, but this was the most useful. Focusing on the art rather than the biography of the man, it’s a generous and sensitive text with brilliant illustrations'
Waldemar Januszczak, Art Books of the Year, The Sunday Times

'Pepe Karmel’s Looking at Picasso takes our attention away from the story of his life in order to concentrate, thoughtfully, engagingly and profoundly, upon the nature of his ceaselessly innovative work. As Karmel explains in his preface, Picasso was first and foremost the greatest artist of the twentieth century, and his roles as husband and lover perhaps deserve a little less attention than they are too often granted'
The Tablet, Art Books of the Year

'Karmel’s book is a highly sophisticated, comprehensive and tightly edited life with excellent plates. It covers Picasso in a way that is both far-reaching in exploration of the vast literature, and fair-minded, a combination which is not easy to achieve'
Morning Star

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 28.6 x 22.0 cm

Extent: 200 pp

Illustrations: 124

Publication date: 29 September 2023

ISBN: 9780500026045

Contents List

1. Life
2. Symbolism
3. Cubism
4. Surrealism
5. War and Peace

About the Author

Pepe Karmel is Associate Professor at the department of Art History, New York University. He is the author of Picasso and the Invention of Cubism (2003) and Abstract Art: A Global History (2020), and has written widely on art for museum catalogues, as well as the New York Times, Art in America and other publications. He has also curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including 'Jackson Pollock' (MoMA, 1998) and 'Dialogues with Picasso' (Museo Picasso Malaga, 2020). Karmel is the Associate Curator of Museo Picasso Malaga.