From Realistic to Abstract: Picasso’s “States of Mind” on Display

Picasso saw things differently. On January 2, 2017, the Tournament of Roses Parade will pass Norton Simon Museum, as it does every year.

The grandstands at left have platforms for cameras.

What were the steps in Picasso’s mind when he looked at a person or animal, drew it, and changed it into an abstract image? What were the steps on paper?  In this exhibition, a likeness of his companion becomes abstract over a series of ten lithographs. There is a longer series of a picture of a bull. When I saw these series along the walls, I just had to see them one on top of another. I’ve done that in these videos.


Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

This exhibit, “States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs 1945-1960” is on display at Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, until February 13, 2017.  Also, Van Gogh’s “Bedroom” is there through March 6, on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago. Happy New Year!


5 thoughts on “From Realistic to Abstract: Picasso’s “States of Mind” on Display”

  1. Wow. Well done, Pam. You can really see the progression of line, especially in the bull.
    Did you see the visiting Van Gogh while you were there? “The Bedroom” is on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago until February, I think.

    1. Hi, Petrea. Yes, I did see it. There’s a long description about it on the audio tour. Van Gogh thought his first painting of the bedroom might not survive, so he made this one. A spare bedroom, if you will. Sorry, I could not resist that.

  2. Fascinating to watch the creative progression of an artist – much like reading a creative writer’s first draft when the fifth version is ready for publication.

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