Philippe Bouchet

Edouard Pignon, Pablo Picasso: “the bedroom secrets of a studio”

Saturday April 29 – Session 09 @ Hotel Colón

“Come on, we’ll have a painter’s life.” That was the proposal that Picasso put to Édouard Pignon (1905-1993) in the early 1950s. The multiple encounters, exchanges, conversations and shared stays in Vallauris, Cannes, Vauvenargues or Mougins made the two men very intimate, linked to the end by an unfailing friendship that was otherwise nurtured by a four-way relationship: Pignon and his wife Hélène Parmelin, and Picasso and his wife Jacqueline.

As underscored by Pierre Daix, the young painter Édouard Pignon “drew inspiration for new freedoms and high ambitions from his elder while knowing how to evade his domination”. In that relationship, Picasso found the fervour of exchanges on painting that he had experienced in the past.

Thus far dealt with in a superficial or caricatural manner only, the relationship between the two artists – seductive and inevitably complex – needs to be addressed in a methodical way. It necessarily goes beyond the shortcuts that have been taken to it. The first stage involves compiling the different documentary sources (biographies of Picasso, press articles, texts on Pignon) in order to extract elements from them that are able to shed light on this relationship, as mentioned by the protagonists of the story themselves:

“His friendship is the gold of my life, his vitality is a source of life. He continues more than ever to be linked to all the research of his time.” Pignon

“I am, perhaps, the only person to have understood the boldness of his painting.” Picasso

Philippe Bouchet

Art Historian, Paris

An art historian, Philippe Bouchet is the author of the catalogue raisonné of Édouard Pignon’s paintings. He has published two books (Ides et Calendes, 2004; Cercle d’Art, 2007) and organised various exhibitions dedicated to the artist: “Édouard Pignon, rétrospective” (Lille, 1997), “Édouard Pignon: dessins, carnets et peintures” (Issoudun, 2000), “Édouard Pignon, pittore ceramista a Vallauris 1951-1954” (Deruta, 2002), “Édouard Pignon, ‘du rythme entre les choses’” (Issoudun, Céret, Roubaix, 2005-2006), “Édouard Pignon: au cœur du monde cézannien” (Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 2006), “Édouard Pignon, femmes en Méditerranée: Catalanes à Collioure, étés 1945-1946” (Collioure, 2013), “Édouard Pignon, entre ciel & mer, les plongeurs” (Morlaix, 2016) and “Édouard Pignon, Ostende (1946-1953)” (Lyon, 2017).

Organized by:

Museu Picasso Barcelona
Montcada 15. 08003 Barcelona

Fundació Palau. Centre d’Art
Carrer la Riera 54. 08393
Caldes d’Estrac Barcelona

The Museu Picasso Barcelona would like to recognise the extraordinary commitment and support of:

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