The Muted Object: Picasso’s Crisis in Cadaqués and Mallarmé’s Crisis of Verse


Trevor Stark, Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art, University of Calgary

Time: 18:00 s.t.
Place: Seminarraum 1, Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität Wien
The paintings and prints that Pablo Picasso produced in Cadaqués, Spain, during the summer of 1910 seemed to “destroy” the represented object, suspending spare graphic fragments over an empty ground. These works have since been considered either as unfinished signs of a crisis, as harbingers of abstract painting, or as the first stages of a semiology of painting. This talk will argue that the poetics of Stéphane Mallarmé provides a resource for constructing an account of cubism with Cadaqués at its centre. Toward this end, it will develop an account of Mallarmé’s project to give poetic existence to the void between the word and the world.

Picture: Pablo Picasso, Mlle Léonie dans une chaise longue, summer 1910. Etching.
-> click to enlarge