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This work is crammed with the everyday objects to be found in an artist’s studio, including bottles, paintbrushes, cans, books, pliers, crumpled paper and cups. The overwhelming density of objects may reflect Guttuso’s concern with the mass consumerism of post-war society. The multiple viewpoints and tilted planes show how Guttuso had assimilated the innovations of Cubism and reworked them into his own brand of realism. Guttuso gave this work as a gift to the Kahnweilers in 1962, after they visited him at his summer retreat near Lake Maggiore.

September 2004