Christine Piot. Les sculptures à Notre-Dame-de-Vie...


Christine Piot. Les sculptures à Notre-Dame-de-Vie

Brassaï La vitrine de l’atelier des Grands-Augustins

Brassaï, La vitrine de l’atelier des Grands-Augustins, 1943, Epreuve gélatino-argentique, 23,5 x 17,5 cm. Musée national Picasso-Paris. MP1996-297 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée Picasso de Paris) / Mathieu Rabeau © Succession Picasso, 2016 © Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais

When Picasso died, in April 1973, most of his sculptures occupied a wide room downstairs in Notre-Dame-de-Vie, all around the plasters of two “Slaves” by Michel-Ange. There were also some cut plasters lying on the floor, in a room apart.
The Cubist Apple of 1909 (Spies 26) was never cast, as several other plasters. In Conversations avec Picasso, Brassaï related that the sculptor had finally a preference for the whiteness of the plaster. For the Woman with Vase of 1933 (Spies 135), only subsisted the original plaster and the casting plaster of the right arm holding the vase.
For the Figure of 1928 (Spies 69), it was hung, without base, near the painting of the Roofs in Barcelona of 1903, a bit like the future mobiles by Calder (Picasso’s and Calder’s works were presented in the pavilion of the Spanish Republic at the 1937 Universal Exhibition in Paris).
Concerning Woman in a Long Dress of 1943 (Spies 238), the left forearm in toromiro wood from Easter Island, was given to Picasso by Pierre Loeb. In a photograph by Brassaï, we can see this arm resting on the Head of a Bull of 1942 (Spies 240), in an ephemeral assemblage.
Another trick: the painted Head on a wooden base (Spies 238 A) of the Woman in a Long Dress looks a bit like other heads in ceramics—but it’s a painted bronze, not ceramic (like the six painted bronzes for the Glass of Absinthe in 1914 [Spies 36 A to F]).
For the Mask of a Woman of 1908 (Spies 22, pp. 60–61), the exhibition and the catalogue of Picasso. Sculptures in 2016 showed the original white terracotta and a bronze painted in white together. About Picasso: Black and White, see the beautiful catalogue edited by Carmen Gimenez for this exhibition at the Salomon R. Guggenheim in New York, in 2012/2013.
Giacometti also painted some bronzes (see also: “A. Giacometti, Plâtres peints”, Galerie A. Maeght, Paris, June-July 1984). In 1929, the fourth editon of the review Documents showed a bronze painted in white of the Femme couchée qui rêve, with a text by Michel Leris, who was close to Picasso (see the illustration in the catalogue Leiris & Co., 2015, p. 89).
In Notre-Dame de Vie, at the centre of the wide room, the white profile of a man in plaster seemed watch, as we can still see on the cover of the Silent Studio, by David Douglas Duncan (1976).

Christine Piot, docteur en histoire de l’art (en 1981), a travaillé à l’inventaire de la Succession Picasso de 1975 à 1980, sous la direction de Maurice Rheims, en compagnie de François Bellet et Brigitte Baer. Chargée de collections à la Bibliothèque nationale de France, au département de l’Audiovisuel, puis au département des Arts du spectacle, de 1989 à 2010. Elle a publié, avec Marie-Laure Bernadac, Picasso écrits (1935-1959) et, avec Brigitte Leal et M.-L. Bernadac, Picasso Monographie (1881-1973). Avec Werner Spies, elle a collaboré aux catalogues de l’œuvre sculpté de Picasso, en 1983 (édition allemande) et 2000 (édition française, Centre Pompidou). Elle est l’uteure de plusieurs articles sur Picasso et sur le poète du Grand Jeu, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte (1907-1943).

Christine Piot, PhD in Art History (in 1981), worked for Picasso’s inventory, with François Bellet and Brigitte Baer (from 1975 to 1980), for the expert Maurice Rheims. In charge of collections at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in the Audiovisual Department, then at the Performing Arts Department (from 1989 to 2010). She published, with Marie-Laure Bernadac, Picasso: Collected Writings (1935–1959), and with Brigitte Leal and Marie-Laure Bernadac, Picasso, the Monograph (1881–1973). With Werner Spies, she collaborated on the catalogues of Picasso’s sculptures, in 1983 (German edition) and 2000 (French edition, Centre Pompidou, Paris). She is also the author of several articles on Picasso and the poet of Le Grand Jeu, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte (1907–1943)