Slade School of Fine Art


Staff, Slade

Colour and Poetry Day 2020

Colour and Poetry Day 2020

Today, 21st March, is International Colour Day & World Poetry Day. Unfortunately the symposium Colour & Poetry, scheduled for today has been cancelled. Associate Professor Jo Volley, would like to share with you this piece of text that fairly encapsulates the spirit of it for her.

Then the man in the blue suit reaches into his pocket and takes out a large sheet of paper, which he carefully unfolds and hands to me. It is covered with Picasso’s handwriting – less spasmodic, more studied than usual. At first sight, it resembles a poem. Twenty or so verses are assembled in a column, surrounded by broad white margins. Each verse is prolonged with a dash, occasionally a very long one. But it is not a poem; it is Picasso’s most recent order for colours… For once, all the anonymous heroes of Picasso’s palette trooped forth from the shadows, with Permanent White at their head. Each had distinguished himself in some great battle – the Blue period, the Rose Period, Cubism, ‘Guernica….. Each could say: ‘I too, I was there…” And Picasso, reviewing his old comrades-in-arms, gives to each of them a sweep of his pen, a long dash that seems a fraternal salute: ‘ Welcome Persian Red! Welcome Emerald Green! Cerulean Blue, Ivory Black, Cobalt Violet, clear and deep, welcome! Welcome!’

Brassai, Conversation avec PIcasso (1964)


Posted Saturday, 21st March 2020 00:00