In Bather, Picasso used a nude female figure standing at the seaside as a testing ground for new representational possibilities, challenging pictorial conventions of space, beauty, and time. The background is simplified into three bands of color applied in flat, rough strokes. The bather’s body is broken into discrete parts; her breasts, stomach, and shoulders are hardened into geometric arcs and curves, and her right foot twists unnaturally. Traditional painting captures a single moment from a single perspective; Picasso depicted his bather’s torso from the front, rear, and side, presenting multiple views simultaneously.
Gallery label from 2011