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.