Art: Pablo Picasso:The Painter as Proteus

All this century, critics have been writing about Pablo Picasso in the present indicative. He was 91 years, six months and 17 days old when the tense changed and "is" finally became "was." It seems like a malfunction of language itself. But by now the doors of the pantheon are sealed, the first wave of reminiscences has rolled by, the wreaths are laid. The dealers have gone down to their storage racks to rewrite the price tickets. The last Picassos have been painted, drawn, etched, cast, welded, thrown or glazed, and the most generous...

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