Monday, July 5, 2010

Picasso at the Met

One of the most famous and important painters of the twentieth century was Pablo Picasso, who's long career spanned many decades and even more artistic styles. Although he is most famous as the creator of Cubist painting (where he painted pictures of people and objects as cubes, giving his subjects a new dimensionality and complexity) his work spanned many different styles from neoclassicism to surrealism to even Asian and African influenced styles. His lived from 1881-1973, producing his first notable works around 1902 and he worked right up until the end of his life. He had an amazing, almost unmatchable artistic career.

Running at the Met until August 15 is the first major exhibition of Picasso's works in the United States. The Met has pulled together all of the paintings, drawings and sculptures by Picasso that it has accumulated over the decades and is exhibiting them together for the first time ever. Walking through this huge exhibition, you see how Picasso's work changed and developed overtime, how new influences and experiences shaped his drawings and paintings. Picasso was a true romantic, with a turbulent love life and many ups-and-downs in his career, and all of this can be seen in his work. Because his career was so long, it had various "periods" where he would paint only one kind of painting: the most famous of these is the Blue Period, the Rose Period, Cubism, classicism and surrealism. Whatever was going on in Picasso's life at the time, that informed his work.

He was one of those artists, one of those most amazing and exasperating of people, who managed to work all the time, be incredibly prolific, and also have a full and complete social and romantic life. The man must never have slept.

One of the most famous paintings on display in this exhibit is At the Lapin Agile, a portrait of a harlequin looking sad and having a drink at the famous Parisian bar (which still exists today). This painting inspired a play call Picasso at the Lapin Agile written by, of all people, Steve Martin.

If you have the time, I strongly recommend that you check out this exhibit. It's an amazing art history lesson, a look at the one of the greatest painting masters of all time.


  1. Bonjour, Mr NYC!
    Just discovered your Website by chance, never having heard of it before. I truly appreciate your comments about the Picasso exhibit and hope to see it next week, despite probably having to peer around heads, as the last week of any major exhibit is always rather en masse. Anybody else who happens to read this , please hurry to the Met THIS week or kindly stay home!
    Selfish in NJrf


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