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24 Frames per Second
Come See the Mystery of Picasso
Black ink soaks through a transparent canvas to form an image drawn by the master, Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
In Le Mystere de Picasso (1956), director Henri-Georges Clouzot creates a new type of art documentary: one which manages to capture art at the very moment of conception. The transparent canvas allows the camera to capture each stroke of the artist's brush in real-time, beginning in stark black-and-white, but then moving on to color. Later, Clouzot employs stop animation to account for the mixing and application of color in several pieces.
The music for the film adds a dancer-like quality to each movement of the brush that would make even Twyla Tharp happy. Some of the paintings are light and whimsical, while others create a tension and sadness that recalls Picasso's Blue Period. Watching Picasso paint a western landscape with horses and a sunset is like watching ink playfully dance across the canvas. Once the piece is finished, the camera "wipes" away the image and replaces it with a fresh canvas, poised and ready for a new work.
Tragically, all of the works created by Picasso during the film were destroyed, so Clouzot's documentary is the only place to view these works.
A screening of the film will take place on Wednesday March 23 at 7 pm at the Mid-Manhattan Library on the first floor corner room as part of the NYPL at Nite film series.
- Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein: Correspondence
edited by Laurence Madeline; translated by Lorna Scott Fox.
- Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time and the Beauty that Causes Havoc
Arthur I. Miller.
- Forever Picasso: An Intimate Look at His Last Years
Roberto Otero ; translated by Elaine Kerrigan.
- Representations of Blindness in Picasso’s Blue Period
James G. Ravin, MD & Jonathan Perkins Phd
- Seductive Canvases: Visual Mythologies of the Artist and Artistic Creativity
- The Unknown Masterpiece
Honore de Balzac