Monday, January 21, 2013

Picasso: Black and White Exhibition: Top Ten

The Milliners Workshop, 1926

I had to see this exhibition before it ended today,after all, that's why I moved to New York: to experience world class art shows like this one.  This is what I think about Picasso in a nutshell...

No one else that optimizes the changes in visual art from Classicism to Modernism
He was a wizard of visual language... throughout his life he experimented with all the elements and principles of design in such a plain and primitive way
Picasso could soar with his paintbrush and take us on a trip to extreme pain, despair, love, and joy
Many Picasso paintings are crap... just like the pieces in this show, about half are vain, playful without depth, and repetitive
I admire Picasso for making both great and crappy art... good or bad he was always himself and one of his greatest lessons for painters is not to get hung up on making every painting a masterpiece
His way of transforming a simple still life into a magnificent invention of imagination was his greatest gift
 I love his innovative approach to almost any and every medium of visual art he could get his hands on
His studies were as interesting as his finished pieces 
Picasso was prolific but he had money and assistants so don't worry about producing the quantity of work he had produced in his lifetime
A great book on Picasso is John Berger's The Success and Failure of Picasso

The images of my ten favorite pieces from the Black and White exhibition at The Guggenheim Museum of Art are roughly ranked in order from 1-10... the first of which being best in show.

The Maids of Honor, 1957

Visual language at its best... flow of the composition, light and shadow, interplay of detail and simplicity, 
flat space to depth

Still Life With Blood Sausage, 1941

Plain subject made inventive and expressive... great composition, diverse textures, simplified forms

Woman Ironing, 1904

Picasso's early work reminds me of Bob Dylan's early folk music... very expressive, sincere, modest, powerful

Bust of a Woman with Arms Raised, 1922

Simple subject matter and composition yet full of expressiveness and beauty

Bronze Skull, 1943

As raw as it gets... yes it's disturbing in its horror but is an expression of the time it was made

Man, Woman, and Child, 1906

I love the raw, expressive brushwork, shapes, and forms... this painting is so beautiful and so human

Head of a Horse Sketch for Guernica, 1937

The power Picasso is capable of in his image making... the anguish, pain, devastation

Swimming Woman, 1934

Look at her face!... what an odd and ingenious way of rendering it 

Study for Sculpture of Head, 1932

This drawing shows Picasso's mastery of classically trained techniques and imagination/invention

Bust of a Woman, 1932

Modest in simplicity but so lovely, warm, and beautiful

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