Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meanderings for a Tuesday

I spent yesterday with my new addiction. Facebook is quite hilarious. I challenged Border Explorer to a game of word challenge, she opened a whole can of whoopass on me. I challenged both my kids to sudoku, neither of whom have played yet. But I also reconnected with some people from my past, which is sweet.

Today, I wish I was here. This has got to be an amazing exhibit, and it would be fantastic to be able to make the comparisons between Picasso and the Masters first hand. Picasso once said
Art is not the application of a canon of beauty, but what instinct and the brain imagine quite apart from the canon.
The review of this blockbuster exhibit contends that Picasso got bogged down with looking backward, despite his major accomplishments.

Listen, I'm a huge fan of Picasso's work - he took grand risks, and was willing to fail miserably. One of my favorite places in Paris is the Musée National Picasso which houses a major collection of his work. But Picasso was at some point bigger than his work - the work itself became secondary to the grandness of the personality. He was, in a way, the first rock star artist. He became way too aware of his place in history, which ultimately made his later work less than his reputation.

In the Picasso Museum, there is a clay sculpture of a sleeping cat that is used as a door stop. The cat is graceful, playful, beautifully done with none of the various riffs that embellish the paintings. In fact, most of his ceramic work is elegant. It's as though the clay mastered his personality and made him less self-conscious.

The reviewer suggests that the selection of works for the exhibit create the problem - that it's just too much of a "blockbuster" for its own good, that the exhibit is self-conscious. The last "blockbuster" exhibit I've gone to was the Jeff Koons at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago - the exhibit was hilarious, with one well-made joke after another, beautifully constructed, ultimately cold.

I'm of the belief that art should be experienced in a smaller, intimate setting. I like the Picasso Museum because it is a beatiful setting, the Hotel Salé, built in1659. I like the Musée d'Orsay because it was the former Gare d'Orsay, a railroad station. The building is interesting.

At any rate, I still wish I was in Paris, and at the exhibit. It would be a real treat.

16 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Facebook? That place where you have to show your face? Yikes.

I'm of the belief that art should be experienced in a smaller, intimate setting.

I agree 172.6%, but that doesn't mean I don't plan on checking out the Louvre as well if I ever manage get my broke ass over to Paris. ;-)

DCup said...

I'm having fun with Facebook, too. I initially joined so I could learn to use it when I need to stay in touch with The Dancer when she goes off to school. Heh. Right.

I was lucky enough to visit the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre when I went to school in France. They both knocked my socks off. I loved d'Orsay especially, but the Wow! moment I recall most was standing in front of Liberty Leads the People in the Louvre. I didn't expect it to be so enormous.

I was also able to travel to the Picasso museum in Barcelona. That was a real treat. At IU, I took a class devoted to Picasso and learned so much (most of which I can't remember, but I kept the textbook!). I prefer his earlier works. In fact, right now, where I sit, I can see La Comeda Frugal - a print I brought home and framed. It's stark, but fascinating.

DivaJood said...

Randal, I know, scary. As for the Louvre, it always makes me sleepy. I have a list of smaller, exquisite museums and churches in Paris that I like to give to people when I send them - not in the guide books.

DCup, when I found both my son and daughter on Facebook, it was too funny. My son is in North Dakota, where he teaches at UND - and my daughter is in Chicago with Ms. Beanie. I talk to my daughter by phone almost daily, but last night we were "chatting" via facebook - it was too funny.

FranIAm said...

Ahh - Paris, Picasso. And Facebook. All good things!

I love the Picasso museum in Paris and have been there several times. A little over a year ago when we were on our honeymoon in Barcelona, we visited the Picasso museum there and LOVED it.

The Musee D'Orsay is great- I love the use of the old railway station and in certain rooms, especially on the top floor, the light is amazing.

I recall when the collection from the Musee D'Orsay was in the... the name is escaping me, it was next to the Louvre. Of course it was a much smaller collection then.

While slightly off topic I must voice my love for the Prado in Madrid and its nearby neighbor and favorite place of mine the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Let's all just go to Europe...

BTW Randall, you can join facebook and NEVER show your face. Come on over.

DivaJood said...

FIA, I confess I've never been to Spain. Breaks my little travel-obsessed heart. So I think this is what I'm going to do - I'm going to work up a group idea, small, take a bunch o folks to Spain to eat tapas and look at art.

Randal Graves said...

Am I the only person who hasn't been to Paris? You're all on my list.

I can't forget about the Musée-Placard d'Erik Satie, assuming it's still there.

Utah Savage said...

I'm with Randal. The best I've done was a stop in the train station on the way to Brussels. I'm feeling the envy. I'm turning green. I must go elsewhere. Cultural snobs, the lot of you.

DivaJood said...

Randal, Utah, I'm a travel professional. I have to go places. But stick around, we'll get you there.

Cormac Brown said...

"At any rate, I still wish I was in Paris"

Don't we all, but how many Americans this side of Johnny Depp can afford it? You notice how nobody talks about the Pompidou? Pourquoi?

Spartacus said...

Hey Jood. Does it count if one's visit to Paris is a layover at Charles de Gaulle Airport? Probably not. Well, at least I have a few Facebook friends. ;^)

Border Explorer said...

Diva, we all know you'll whoop my ass on any ol' writing challenge or exercise.

I haven't been to Paris or France either. But my daughter-in-law is Parisian. (another story...another day...)

I prefer smaller galleries to big museums, altho I'm partial to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Fran said...

Grew up in Chi town, so I've seen my fair share of Picasso. Truth is the Art Institute is a gem, and when I go there, I am mesmerized by the French Impressionists. I just can't believe I am standing by * the genuine article*. The joy of it being a large museum is you can sit across the room & get a totally different view of a piece, and I will linger there taking it in.
I've not been to Europe...
But I did go to Alaska - twice, sadly, I did NOT see Russia from there.

Robert Rouse said...

Hey! You'll have to add me as a friend. I kick ass at Scramble.

Spadoman said...

I admit I don't know diddly squat when it comes to art, and I can't read or pronounce the French names of museums you speak of. But I do know the huge Picasso sculpture in Chicago since I hail from there. I hope this admittance of my shortcomings doesn't put me in a place of undesirability.

I'm on Facebook by the way.

Dean Wormer said...

Tell me more about this Picasso fella. I'm all ears.

(Rimshot)

Randal Graves said...

"I'm not."

- Vince