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"Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don't they try to understand the song of the birds? Why do they love a night, a flower, everything which surrounds man, without attempting to understand them? Whereas where painting is concerned, they want to understand. Let them understand above all that the artist works from necessity; that he, too, is a minute element of the world to whom one should ascribe no more importance than so many things in nature which charm us but which we do not explain to ourselves. Those who attempt to explain a picture are on the wrong track most of the time." (Pablo Picasso, 1934)
In their biography of Pablo Picasso, Hans Ludwig and Chris Jaffe note that "(F)or him, art was always adventure: 'To find is the thing.'" Indeed, there is perhaps no artist who produced more art than Picasso, whose enormous oeuvre (which spanned most of his 91-year life) contained a countless number of paintings and drawings. Picasso worked in other mediums as well, notably sculpture and lithography, and his constant experimentation with form makes him a useful case study through which to chart the growth of modernism as an artistic movement, and many of the artistic trends that would dominate the 20th century.
At the same time, one of the challenges involved in examining Picasso's body of work is the sheer breadth of it all. In addition to the many different mediums involved, Picasso's works within each medium are also vastly differed.