The Paradox of Picasso and The Role of the Biographer: John Richardson in donversation with Robert Hughes
"My work is my diary," Picasso said, and John Richardson addresses his paintings and sculptures in that light: not only as the stunning manifestation of the artist's protean imagination but also as a mirror, held up to the man himself, in which we can see what might otherwise have been hidden.
John Richardson's new book, A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932, is the third volume of a biography that reveals the artist's life during the time that he created some of his most important sculpture and painting. These are the years that Picasso was part of a group in Paris that included Braque, Apollinaire, Miró, Man Ray, and Breton, and when in the south of France, spent summers in the company of Hemmingway and Fitzgerald. It was during this time that he was married to the ballerina Olga Khokhlova and had his passionate affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was, as well, his model and muse.
John Richardson is the author of a memoir, The Sorcerer's Apprentice; an essay collection, Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters; and books on Manet and Braque. He has written for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. He was instrumental in establishing Christie's in the United States. In 1993, he was made a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and from 1995 to 1996, he served as the Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University. He divides his time between Connecticut and New York City.
Robert Hughes has written for such publications as The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, and The Observer in London and was art critic for Time magazine for thirty years. His books include The Culture of Complaint, Barcelona, The Fatal Shore, Nothing If Not Critical, Heaven and Hell in Western Art, Goya, and most recently Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir. His television series include The Shock Of The New, American Visions, and Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore, as well as numerous documentaries, most recently Goya: Crazy Like a Genius. Hughes is the only art critic to twice receive the Frank Jewett Mather Award, given by the College Art Association of America. He lives in New York.