Art History

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Pablo Picasso

The Interaction between Collectors and Exhibitions, 1899–1939

Dr. Enrique Mallen, Professor at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), is Director and General Editor of the Online Picasso Project (OPP), a digital catalogue raisonné on Pablo Picasso used by Picasso scholars throughout the world. He has written extensively on Picasso’s Cubist and Surrealist periods, as well as on Picasso’s literary writings.

This book explores the interaction between collectors, dealers and exhibitions in Pablo Picasso’s entire career. The former two often played a determining role in which artworks were included in expositions as well as their availability and value in the art market. The term collector/dealer must often be used in combination since the distinction between both is often unclear; Heinz Berggruen, for instance, identified himself primarily as a collector, although he also sold quite a few Picassos through his Paris gallery. On the whole, however, dealers bought more often than collectors; and they bought works by artists they were already involved with. While some dealers were above all professional gallery owners; most were mainly collectors who sporadically sold items from their collection. Picasso’s first known dealer was Père Manyach, whom he met as he travelled to Paris in 1900 when he was only 19 years old. As his representative, Manyach went about setting up exhibitions of his works at galleries in the French capital, such as Bethe Weill’s and Ambroise Vollard’s. Picasso’s first major exhibition took place in 1901 at Vollards. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Léonce Rosenberg came in after Vollard lost interest during the Cubist period, as they had a manifest preference for the new style. Like Vollard, later dealers often preferred the more conventional Neoclassical phase in Picasso. This was the case with Léonce’s brother, Paul Rosenberg. The book is organized chronologically and discusses the interaction between Picasso’s collectors, dealers and exhibitions as they take place. Once collectors acquired an artwork, their willingness to lend them to exhibitions or their necessity to submit them to auction had a direct impact on Picasso’s prominence in the art world.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-900-5
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $75.00
Release Date: September 2018
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-986-9
Paperback Price: £27.50 / $45.00
Release Date: May 2019
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: No



Chapter 1           Early Exhibitions                                                                                        
Chapter 2           The Move to Paris                                                                                      
Chapter 3           Growing Prestige                                                                                          
Chapter 4           Rising Prices                                                                                                  
Chapter 5           A Time of Renewal                                                                                    
Chapter 6           Involvement in the Theatre                                                                  
Chapter 7           The Post-War Market                                                                  
Chapter 8           The Early 1920s                                                                                              
Chapter 9           Reputation Across the Atlantic                                                                
Chapter 10         The Sale of a Masterpiece                                                                        
Chapter 11         First Retrospective                                                                                      
Chapter 12         The Influence of Surrealism                                                                      
Chapter 13         The American Market                                                                  
Chapter 14         Retrospectives in Paris and Zürich                                                          
Chapter 15         Crisis in Europe                                                                                              
Chapter 16         The Growing Presence of New York
Chapter 17         The War in Spain                                                                            
Chapter 18         The Impact of Fascism                                                                
Chapter 19         The War Period                                                                                            
Chapter 20         Major New York Retrospective                                                              

Cited Works

This work chronicles Pablo Picasso’s interactions with collectors, dealers, and exhibitions over a 40-year period, looking at their role in his success. The impact of WWI on art, collecting, and art galleries is also considered. An appendix lists original selling prices for his artwork and their current values now.

La monografía de Enrique Mallen aporta una enorme cantidad de datos relacionados con la exhibición y venta de cuadros del artista que además interpreta aportando un contenido útil y necesario para toda investigación futura ... Ya anuncia Mallen en el prólogo que Picasso era plenamente consciente de la necesidad de crearse un aura que le permitiese controlar su imagen pública ... Tal como describe Mallen, la crisis europea de los años 30 vino a condicionar la creciente importancia de Nueva York, que acabaría por desplazar a París como epicentro de la modernidad.
Enrique Mallen’s monograph offers an enormous amount of data related to the exhibition and sale of the artist’s paintings, which he also evaluates, providing useful and necessary material for all future research ... Mallen already announces in the prologue that Picasso was fully aware of the need to create an aura that would allow him to control his public image ... As Mallen describes, the European crisis of the 1930s conditioned the growing importance of New York, which ended up displacing Paris as the epicenter of modernity.
Reviewed by Carlos Ferrer Barrera, Fundación Picasso, Museo Casa Natal, Málaga, in the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies (IV, 2020)

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