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The Barker Code
of Color/Fabric Representation

Museum Masterpieces

Woman Seated in Chair

Homage to “Woman Seated in Chair”, by Pablo Picasso (2002) mixed media, 23½ x 17½.

“Woman Seated in Chair” is an oil painting on canvas, (51”x38”) done in 1941.

The original is at the Currier Gallery of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Pablo Picasso, who lived from 1881 to 1973, was Spanish, and in 1941 was 60 years old and working in Paris, France.

Briefly described: “Woman Seated in Chair” depicts a woman in long black hair and a polka-dotted dress, seated in a rail-back chair. It is in a cubist style. The long black hair is an angular frame of the face that is distorted with an elongated shape, and a long pointy nose. The chair is flattened into a pear shape of yellow and maroon stripes with its four legs sticking out at unusual angles. The walls of red and green in the background come together in an impossible angle and seem to be closing in around the woman. The black Xs near the center are the fringe on a purple shawl. There is the hint of a window on the left side.

More about the painting: The model who posed for this painting is Dora Maar, a photographer and painter who was living with Picasso in 1941. The anxiety and anger of the Nazi occupation of Paris are expressed in this work by the distortion of the walls, the chair, and the woman. The colors are shockingly bright, and seem to be trying to break out of the confines of the canvas. Picasso’s style was considered ‘decadent’ by the Nazis and he was forbidden to show his work. So, although he spent a lot of time in his studio, his works stayed there and could not be exhibited or sold.

More about Picasso: When Picasso died in 1973, he left behind over 50,000 works of art. His talent was recognized early, and he was so prolific that his works are usually divided into periods, each representing different outside influences and his own personal interest. 1901 to 1904, his painting were melancholy and he used a lot of blue shades. Thus they are designated as his “Blue Periodrdquo;. During 1905 and 1906, the “Rose Period”, his mood changed and he used softer contours and pink colors. In 1906 he started developing Cubism, which is the fragmenting of three dimensional forms and the human figure, into flat areas of pattern and color, which overlap and intertwine, so that the object can be seen from different angles all at the same time. Picasso is acknowledged as one of the most innovative and influential artist of the 20th century.

SallyB’s comments: “Woman Seated in Chair” was my first homage and chosen because of its bright colors in clear cut shapes. It was important to me that Picasso be part of my portfolio because he is so well known, and this painting, while not well known, is so obviously done by Picasso that sighted people immediately know that he is the artist who created it.