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Book Chapter

Other Criteria. Problematic Nudes

  • Maite Méndez Baiges

In the 1960s and 1970s this formalist version seen in the previous chapter began to show signs of fatigue. Some critics and art historians began to show interest in the personages on stage in Les Demoiselles. Early on John Nash linked the damsel squatting at lower right of the canvas with the myth of Medusa. Leo Steinberg immediately formulated a series of questions that constituted a direct attack against the formalist version. Why should we examine a painting that presented five naked prostitutes, all gazing fixedly at the viewer, merely from the formalist perspective? The time had come to take into account the content of the painting and consequently all of modern art which had been restricted by the prevailing formalism. This chapter tells how the formalist arguments were refuted and cleared the way for the iconological studies that placed the powerful sexual content in the foreground. The person mainly responsible for this was Leo Steinberg who sparked off an authentic revolution on the way to deal with this work and Modernism as a whole.

  • Keywords:
  • Modernism,
  • Demoislles d'Avignon,
  • John Nash,
  • Leo Steinberg,
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Maite Méndez Baiges

University of Malaga, Spain - ORCID: 0000-0002-0762-7004

  1. Bernadac, Marie Laure and Andoula Michael, ed. 1998. Picasso. Propos sur l’art. Paris: Gallimard.
  2. Bois, Yve-Alain. 2001. “Painting as Trauma.” In Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, edited by Christopher Green, 31–54. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Bohm-Duchen, Monica. 2001. The Private Life of a Masterpice. London: BBC.
  4. Bürger, Peter. 1977. Teoría de la vanguardia. Translated by Jorge García. Barcelona: Península.
  5. Elderfield, John, ed. 1994. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. New York: The MoMA.
  6. Foster, Hal. 1993. “‘Primitive’ Scenes.” Critical Inquiry 20, no. 1 (Autumn): 69–102. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1343948
  7. Green, Christopher. 2001. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  8. Nash, John. 2004. “Pygmalion and Medusa. An Essay on Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Umêní Art 1, no. LII: 61–6.
  9. Salmon, André. 1922. Propos d’Atelier. Paris: C. Crès.
  10. Seckel, Hélène. 1994. “Anthology of Early Commentary on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, In Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, edited by Elderfield, 213–46. New York: The MoMA.
  11. Steinberg, Leo. 1972a.“The Philosophical Brothel. Part I.” Art News 71, no. 5 (September): 22–9.
  12. Steinberg, Leo. 1972b. “The Philosophical Brothel. Part II.” Art News 71, no. 5 (October): 38–47.
  13. Steinberg, Leo. 1988. “The Philosophical Brothel.” October no. 44 (Spring): 7–74.
  14. Steinberg, Leo. 2002 (1972). “Reflections on the State of Criticism.” In Robert Rauschenberg. October Files, no. 4: 7–38. Cambridge-London: The MIT Press.
  15. Zervos, Christian. 1942. Pablo Picasso. Vol II: Oeuvres de 1906 à 1912. Paris: Cahiers d’Art.
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  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Pages: 37-48
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Other Criteria. Problematic Nudes

Authors

Maite Méndez Baiges

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-656-8.05

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Modernism

Authors

Maite Méndez Baiges

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

148

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-656-8

ISBN Print

978-88-5518-655-1

eISBN (pdf)

978-88-5518-656-8

eISBN (epub)

978-88-5518-657-5

Series Title

Studi e saggi

Series ISSN

2704-6478

Series E-ISSN

2704-5919

207

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