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Pablo Picasso

La bouteille de Suze (Bottle of Suze)

1912

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Pablo Picasso's La Bouteille de Suze is a key image of the late Synthetic Cubism developed by Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Picasso, in which the artists synthesized separate elements from real life in their pictures to suggest objects and environments. In La Bouteille de Suze, Picasso used cut fragments of newsprint, wallpaper, and construction paper, as well as gouache and charcoal, to suggest a liquor bottle with a label and, on the left, a glass and an ashtray with cigarette and smoke. These abstract, fragmented elements all appear to rest on a blue table in front of a wall with diamond-patterned wallpaper and newsprint. Serving as a formal element, the newsprint also suggests the popular Parisian café activity of reading the paper while smoking and drinking. The texts add a political and social dimension to the image: they juxtapose newspaper articles referring to horrific events from the First Balkan war with stories of Parisian frivolity. Along with the texts, the distorted, fragmented forms in this Cubist image allude to such conditions of modernity as the lack of coherent perspectives or meanings in a constantly changing world. Picasso's work can thus be seen as simultaneously warning against the absurdity of modern life while also delighting in life's simple pleasures. [Permanent collection label, 2011]

  • Artist Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
  • Title La bouteille de Suze (Bottle of Suze)
  • Date 1912
  • Medium Pasted papers, gouache, and charcoal
  • Dimensions unframed | 25 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.
  • Credit line University purchase, Kende Sale Fund, 1946
  • Copyright © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Object number WU 3773

Picasso to Pollock: H.W. Janson and the Legacy of Modern Art at Washington University in St. Louis
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, Texas), 08/17/2004 - 10/24/2004

Collecting Patterns
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/05/2003 - 12/07/2003

H. W. Janson and the Legacy of Modern Art at Washington University in St. Louis
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries (New York, New York), 03/12/2002 - 04/06/2002
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/30/2002 - 12/08/2002

Modern Art on Paper (European)
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/27/1999 - 12/05/1999

Early Modern European and American Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/08/1998 - 10/12/1998

Cubism and Abstraction
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/12/1998 - 04/05/1998

Cultural Perspectives: How Artists Shape our View of History
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/09/1997 - 05/16/1997

A Gallery of Modern Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/09/1994 - 10/16/1994

Picasso and Things: The Still Lifes of Picasso
Réunion des musées nationaux―Grand Palais (Paris, France), 09/22/1992 - 12/28/1992
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 06/07/1992 - 08/23/1992
The Cleveland Museum of Art, 02/26/1992 - 05/03/1992

Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 09/24/1989 - 01/16/1990

Aspects of Collage, Assemblage, and the Found Object in Twentieth-Century Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, New York), 03/29/1988 - 05/22/1988

Capsule of Modern Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/09/1983 - 03/06/1983

Picasso 1881–1973, Esposiçión Antologica
Museo Picasso (Barcelona, Spain), 1/1982–2/1982, 01/01/1982 - 02/01/1982
Museo Español de Arte Contemporaneo (Madrid, Spain), 11/01/1981 - 12/01/1981

Master Drawings by Picasso
Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, 02/20/1981 - 04/05/1981

The Centennial Exhibition
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/15/1981 - 10/11/1981

Cubist, Expressionist, and Surrealist Paintings and Sculptures
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/20/1980 - 11/02/1980

Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 05/22/1980 - 09/16/1980

Summer Selections
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/24/1979 - 08/31/1979

Zeichnungen und Collagen des Kubismus: Picasso, Braque, Gris
Kunsthalle Bielefeld (Bielefeld, Germany), 03/11/1979 - 04/29/1979

20th Century Masterworks from St. Louis Collections
Saint Louis Art Museum, 12/01/1973 - 02/03/1974

Picasso: Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibtions
Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, Texas), 02/08/1967 - 03/26/1967

Washington University Collection of Modern Paintings and Sculpture from Daumier to Pollock
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 04/06/1966 - 05/08/1966

The Art of Assemblage
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 03/05/1962 - 04/15/1962
Dallas Museum of Art, 01/09/1962 - 02/11/1962
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 10/02/1961 - 11/12/1961

Opening Exhibition of Mark C. Steinberg Memorial Hall
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 04/29/1960

Picasso in St. Louis
St. Louis Artists’ Guild (St. Louis, Missouri), 02/21/1960 - 03/06/1960

Art at Washington University
Saint Louis Art Museum, 05/07/1953 - 05/31/1953

The Modern Artist and His World
Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (San Francisco, California), 05/01/1949 - 08/01/1949
Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado), 03/06/1949 - 04/27/1949

Collage
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 09/21/1948 - 12/05/1948

Picasso Early and Late
Bignou Gallery (New York, New York), 02/10/1941 - 03/01/1941

1946
Bignou Gallery, New York

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