Publish Date: Feb. 13, 1939
Cover Story: Art’s Acrobat
How TIME Covered the News: The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso was a towering luminary of the modern, working his way up through bohemian squalor, with little formal education, to become a household name across the Western world. Picasso’s range and diversity of forms, coupled with the sheer uniqueness of his shapes and figures, won him prestigious commissions such as “Guernica” in 1937, which he created for the World’s Fair that year in Paris.
“So, for 30 years, have the works of Pablo Picasso continued to delight the knowledgeable and confound the common man. Flying like a shuttlecock between the esthetic debaters of two continents, the very name of Picasso has been a symbol of irresponsibility to the old, of audacity to the young. To millions of solid citizens it has been one of the two things they know about modern art— the other being that they don’t like it.”