Picasso, Picabia and Ernst were what might be described as true Europeans, settled in Paris but with origins in other European countries, bringing their own culture and experience to the melting pot of the avant-garde which was Paris in the early 20th century. These artists were part of an exciting atmosphere of artistic and technological discovery and experimentation, and they were among the first to embrace new materials and techniques in order to push the boundaries of what could be achieved using both traditional artistsí paints and less conventional materials - in certain cases deliberately debunking the fine art establishment and its prescriptive expectations. They also pushed against the conservative, patriotic establishment which emerged from the First World War, and were all major contributors to changing the course of art history in the 20th century. Each had a truly international outlook, taking their work to other parts of Europe and across the Atlantic to the USA. There they made close friends with American avant-garde artists and promoters of modern art, introducing their achievements to the American public, and also taking inspiration from the modern marvel that was New York, which chimed so well with their desire for the new and innovative.
This title focuses on new perspectives on some of Tate's key paintings by Picabia, Picasso and Ernst. it is the conclusion of a two-year study into their history, context, materials and techniques. The paintings selected for the study have almost all been radically reworked by the artist, and both documentary and technical research has been carried out to give new insight into the earlier versions of these works.
In addition papers by a number of international art historians, conservators and conservation scientists are included which present new research into Picasso and Picabia, covering both their early and later periods of painting, to give context and a broader perspective.