Students Respond: “Circus”

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Pablo Picasso
Circus, 1899
Lithograph, 22.5625 x 27.125

I chose Pablo Picasso’s print Circus, made in 1960, from the Bell Gallery collection. I chose this piece because I’m interested in how artists create the essence of patterns without following traditional aspects of design such as symmetry, linear placement, or uniform shape. Instead, Picasso has created an overall sense of unity while also utilizing ambiguity in his mark-making. As a result, the piece stays interesting regardless of where you are looking or whether you recognize the forms of the horse, the audience, and the ringleader. The continuous line work guides the eye through the scene and captures the frenetic but exciting nature of the circus, a theme common in Picasso’s works. As a painter, I appreciate the print for what it can teach me about fluidity, pattern, and atmosphere moving forward. 

-Jazzmin Cox-Caceres ’23

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