Sunday, January 13, 2013

Interactive Picasso Painting - "Black and White" closing January 23

Woman Ironing (La repasseuse), Paris, 1904. 
Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches (116.2 x 73 cm). 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,Thannhauser Collection,
 Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser  78.2514.41.
 © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Do we need another Picasso show after the major exhibitions Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010 and The Steins Collect in 2012?   Yes, we do!  The Guggenheim's Picasso Black and White brings together so many important works from 1904 to 1971, both well-known and rarely seen.  

At first, I envisioned an abundance of Picasso's prints: The Vollard Suite (1930-37)and 347 etchings (late 1960s). Hardly the case. Here you will see astonishing oil paintings that - ironically - call attention to Picasso's deliberate emphasis on color in all his works. Choosing grisaille (tonalities of black, white and gray) plays different roles in each case. Women Ironing, which we see above, seems to linger on sculptural contours in the figure, bowl and rag.  The Charnel House registers an appropriate grimness for this horrific scene - similar to his celebrated Guernica (1936), which, unfortunately, does not appear in this show.

Pablo PIcasso, The Charnel House, Paris, 1944-45.
Oil and charcoal on canvas, 6' 6 5/8" x 8' 2 1/2" (199.8 x 250.1 cm).
Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn Bequest (by exchange), and Mrs. Marya Bernard Fund in memory of her husband Dr. Bernard Bernard, and anonymous funds. 
© 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 93.1971

Best of all, the exhibition website provides an interactive link to the conservation of Woman Ironing, which has a portrait underneath the painting  Click on this link to try it yourself: Woman Ironing interactive.  Could this be a self-portrait?   

By the way, the "woman" ironing is most likely Picasso's lover in 1904, Madeleine.  (More on Madeleine another day.)

Picasso Black and White will close at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.  

The New York Arts Exchange is offering a tour of the show on Wednesday, January 16 at 1 pm.  We will meet in the lobby by the bench.
$60 a la carte

Come join us!
Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

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