Sunday, October 25, 2015

Library Walk: Nature, Art and Pablo Picasso


Born this day in 1881, Pablo Picasso was a 20th century Renaissance man. A cofounder of cubism, a poet and a playwright, Picasso was not afraid to share his thoughts on any topic.

The quote that appears on Library Walk is from a collection of thoughts, Picasso on Art: A Selection of Views. It was published in 1972, the year before his death.


Nature and art,
being two different things,
cannot be the same thing.
Through art
we express our conception
of what nature is not.

— Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
from Picasso on Art: A Selection of Views


One of the best known art figures of the last century, Pablo Picasso left his indelible fingerprint on public art around the world. His life and work itself influenced other artists and writers, even inspiring a poem by Charles Bane Jr., that the Bar None Group re-published this time last year, Picasso’s Guitar from his 2012 collection of poems, The Chapbook.

In 1996, the New York Public Library, the Grand Central Partnership and the New Yorker Magazine convened a panel of esteemed lovers of the written word and came up with a collection of quotations from the never-ending oeuvre of literature.

These quotes were cast in bronze by New York sculptor Gregg LeFevre and then laid out as sidewalk plaques on E 41st Street in 1998. In 2003, the stretch of E 41st Street from the New York Public Library entrance on Fifth Avenue to Park Avenue was renamed Library Way.

Whether it be a birth day, anniversary or publication date of a seminal work, the Bar None Group will revisit these 40+ quotations from time to time — quotations that inspire one to write, read, explore and embrace literature. We last visited Alfred Kazin.