Saturday, April 18, 2009
I was swiftly and sternly discouraged from attempting to photograph inside Gagosian Galllery's current show entitled Picasso Mosqueteros, which continues to June 6th @ 522 W. 21st street in Chelsea. It focuses on a group of paintings and prints from the last few years of his life, and is really beyond gorgeous. Many of the works on view have not been exhibited before, and it is almost more like visiting a small Picasso museum than a gallery. The color in the paintings is just a knockout, and they are full of vigor, humor, pathos... all that stuff that can sound really overblown to try to discuss but is completely palpable. Another thing that is a little hard to put into words is the sense that the paintings were made without relying on assistants, an achievement for an artist in his late eighties and early nineties. The etchings are just astonishing, and full of so much technical beauty that, on their own, they could serve as a printmaking course. At this time of his life, Picasso was working with the renowned Crommelynck brothers as his printers. The show was curated by John Richardson, Picasso's biographer, and has a hefty catalog. These photos of Pablo working on his copper plates are taken directly from it, and hopefully I won't get into trouble for posting them. Because shelling out 100 clams for an exhibition catalog, even a stupendous one, is a bit of a tough call, I was glad to have been provided with a status-implying carrying bag. Try not to miss this show if you can see it.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It is that time of year, when bunnies and soft cuddly things occupy our minds. This delicate & sweet baby boar caught my eye recently at the Met. It has a lot of the same qualities as Durer animal images, maybe done by a follower or imitator, but I didn't note the artists name. The support for this painting is vellum, or the prepared hide of a calf, and so follows the baby animal theme.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
This yearly sale and auction helps sustain the programs and scholarships at Greenwich House Pottery in Manhattan. GHP faculty members and well-known potters/ceramic artists from across the country are participating, and it is worth checking out even if you aren't in a position to buy, since there is a broad range of approaches to clay on view. I think my favorite works were the pitchers by Michael Schneider that could also function well as vases. A kind of off-kilter stacking of geometric shapes with crisp edges and very straightforward matte glazes. The piece showing nail-punctured feet of Christ comes from an installation by Richard Notkin that is composed of numerous terracotta tiles which reference familiar images from political events, art historical classics and personal iconography. It is impressive to see, though difficult to get a good shot of in its entirety. Show continues through May, and is complemented by an online auction that goes from April 15th to 26th.