Picasso Dreams of Drawing Squares (2018)

Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Percussion (7.5 mins)

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Performance: VIVE! Ensemble

When visiting Spain last year, it was an essential that I go see the Reina Sofia museum of art, which mainly features modern paintings, photography, and installations of Spanish artists. When I first looked upon Monument aux espagnols mourt por la France, I knew that I wanted to write a response to the paintings of Pablo Picasso.


Mainly incorporating works from Picasso’s cubism period, the series of short movements provides a glimpse into my thoughts when looking at and contemplating the works. These include:


1. Girl before a Mirror
This piece begins and closes the work, because there are two wildly contrasting, yet eerily similar, images in this work. The girl staring at herself in the mirror is strong, vibrant, happy, and full of life, yet in her eyes there is a hint of pure apathy as she considers her image in the mirror.


2. Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois
Humorously pictures a group of pigeons fighting for food at a standard café.


3. Mounment aux espagnols mourt por la France
Picasso was an ardent communist, not necessarily a follow of Soviet interests, especially after Party criticism of his portrait of Stalin. He
strongly opposed United Nations interventionism and war in general. Here he paints a memorial for Spanish soldiers who died in France.


4. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
A work portraying five nude female prostitutes on Carrer D’Aviyno in Barcelona. Each figure is presented in a very confrontational manner, seemingly attempting to entice a passerby to engage in her services.


5. Girl before a Mirror
A refrain of the first movement that highlights the ugliness, dying, and darkened color of the girl’s mirror image. Nearly identical to the first, the dissonance in the strings exposes the girls innermost thoughts as she confronts herself in the mirror.