Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Naked Woman lying by a Window, 1971
This drawing is a variation on a motif that reaches far back into Picasso’s oeuvre, cheerfully expressing what the title ignores: the female nude as an object of the artist’s undiminished desire and lust, of his sexual fascination and repulsion.
The observation of the female sex
Following in the wake of the voluptuous women in the early 1930s paintings and the cool female figures of the so-called Vollard suite, the observation of the female sex becomes an obsession for the artist over the 1960s. An obsession that Picasso vents on paper and canvas time and time again, his artistic potency undiminished by age.
The untameable erotic imagination
In Suite 347 from 1968, the unbridled painterly and sexual act unfolds as though they were one and the same life-affirming activity. By contrast, the nudes in the final drawings lie alone, entirely open and exposed to the winding and wandering ways of the gaze. But even though she is depicted here without the old man – often disguised as the artist’s alter ego, old Rembrandt – who observes or records her postures from the side line, there can be no doubt that what we are seeing are notes about old Picasso’s untameable erotic imagination. And, as this drawing testifies without any modesty, the works also hold lust, revulsion, and a redeeming sense of humour.