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Picasso the Foreigner

Before Picasso became Picasso―the iconic artist now celebrated as one of France’s leading figures―he was constantly surveilled by the police. Amidst political tensions in the spring of 1901, he was flagged as an anarchist by the security services―the first of many entries in what would become an extensive case file. Though he soon became the leader of the cubist avant-garde, and became increasingly wealthy as his reputation grew worldwide, Picasso’s art was largely excluded from public collections in France for the next four decades. The genius who conceived Guernica as a visceral statement against fascism in 1937 was even denied French citizenship three years later, on the eve of the Nazi occupation. In a country where the police and the conservative Académie des Beaux-Arts represented two major pillars of the establishment at the time, Picasso faced a triple stigma―as a foreigner, a political radical, and an avant-garde artist. Hardcover, 608 pages.

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