Thursday, May 06, 2010

Pablo Picasso in New York

This week a painting that Pablo Picasso created in a single day in March 1932, “Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (Nude, Green Leaves and Bust),” sold for $106.5 million, a world record auction price for a work of art, at Christie’s. The painting, more than 5 feet by 4 feet, shows Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, both reclining and as a bust. Picasso’s profile can be discerned in the blue background. Read the rest of the article at the New York Times Art Beat Blog here.

Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (Nude, Green Leaves and Bust)

Today I had prepared a post about the current Picasso exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York City but it would be remiss not to mention this record-breaking sale.

Until August 1st you can visit the Met and see this landmark exhibition which is the first to focus exclusively on works by Pablo Picasso. It features three hundred works, including the Museum's complete holdings of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics by Picasso—never before seen in their entirety—as well as a selection of the artist's prints. The Museum's collection reflects the full breadth of the artist's multi–sided genius as it asserted itself over the course of his long and influential career.

Notable for its remarkable constellation of early figure paintings, which include the commanding At the Lapin Agile (1905) and the iconic portrait of Gertrude Stein (1906), the Museum's collection also stands apart for its exceptional cache of drawings, which remain relatively little known, despite their importance and number. The key subjects that variously sustained Picasso's interest—the pensive harlequins of his Blue and Rose periods, the faceted figures and tabletop still lifes of his cubist years, the monumental heads and classicizing bathers of the 1920s, the raging bulls and dreaming nudes of the 1930s, and the rakish cavaliers and musketeers of his final years—are amply represented by works ranging in date from a dashing self-portrait of 1900 (Self–Portrait "Yo") to the fanciful Standing Nude and Seated Musketeer painted nearly seventy years later.

Two of my favorite museums in Europe include the Picasso Museums of Paris and Barcelona so I am really looking forward to seeing this exhibit. I've roamed those two places for hours, and in the case of the museum in Paris, more than once, so I'm particularly looking forward to visiting the Met and enjoying these works. I might save my trip until after the baby is born in case I need an afternoon to myself. Or, I might bring her and expose her to some culture early. We'll see...either way, I'm going and I strongly suggest you do too! I'm sure it will be incredibly inspiring.

Here's a sneak peek at some of what you will see at the exhibit:

Self-Portrait "Yo"

Picasso-Mother and Child
Mother and Child by a Fountain

Head of a Woman

Gertrude Stein

The Dreamer

Images and certain text via Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York Times Art Beat.

Today's Soundtrack:
Sly & The Family Stone - Everyday People

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