Image: one of Picasso”s ‘plats tauromachiques’, from a series of eight created in 1959
Coupelles tauromachiques, series of 29 ceramics. 12-17 April, 1953
Whatever Picasso’s chosen medium or subject as an observer, he rendered light, separating it from the shadows that frame its existence, telling a story with dancing lines – ‘delineating’ his moving subjects frozen in three dimensions, in this case on discs, or plates.
This series from a permanent collection at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Céret, presents the bullfighting arena from many angles or perspectives. The dominant element is the sun, and its affect on the circular environment as it reached its zenith and then descended; lengthening shadows and a change in temperature of palette giving the impression of ‘a sense of participation’ day-long festivities that continued after sundown. I became transfixed as ‘an observer of the observer’, drawn in by his keen eye and talent for capturing the ‘essential’ – the hidden essence of our world of light and shadow.