Saturday, April 18, 2009

Picasso et Moi

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.

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