Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Picasso at the National Gallery in London

Picasso Challenging the Past
25 February - 7 June 2009
"Disciples be's only the masters that matter. Those who create" Pablo Picasso.

This quote perfectly summarizes the leitmotiv of the first Picasso exhibition by the National Gallery, in London. Was Picasso an admirer of the European great masters, or was he a competitor ? I think the answer is both.

Seizing on the signature themes, techniques and artistic concerns of painters such as Velázquez, Rembrandt and Cézanne, Picasso transformed the art of the past into his own form of expression. The exhibition features over 60 of the artist’s seminal works and focuses on the enduring themes of European art history and his own career, with sections on the self portrait, characters and types, the nude, still life, models and muses and the artist’s later ‘Variations’. Every major period of Picasso’s oeuvre is represented with loans from among the leading public and private collections of Europe and North America.

The exhibition makes subtle reference back and forth between the works of Picasso and the National Gallery’sown incomparable collection of Old Master paintings, which is on display in the main rooms of the Galleryupstairs.

I particularly enjoyed the Velázquez's interpretation of Las Meninas which reveals again how intelligent was the original painting. The young artist first saw Velázquez’s Las Meninas when he was fourteen. Over 75 years later, he completed a series of deeply personal interpretations of the same painting – three of which are to be displayed in London – including The Infanta Margarita, 1957 (Museu Picasso, Barcelona). Picasso’s most powerful tribute to Velázquez’s genius, Las Meninas (after Velázquez), 1957 (Museu Picasso, Barcelona) depicts the 17th-century Spanish artist toweringover an astonishingly complex scene, with the authority of the ultimate master.

A group of four ‘Variations’ after Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, painted between 1960 and 1961 (MuséeNational Picasso, Paris) provides another highlight of the exhibition. Now admired as a masterpiece, Manet’soriginal canvas outraged the 19th-century establishment.
All in all it's always a huge pleasure to see a Picasso's exhibition but I am slightly tired to see exhibitions of Picasso that put in parallel his inspirational painters. I remember well the Matisse /Picasso show in Paris at Le Centre Pompidou, a couple of years ago, and comparing Picasso with other masters seems like it's the easiest approach to his oeuvre.
This exhibition comes from Paris where it was held at the Grand Palais , and I believe it offered more space for the paintings.

To learn more:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Annette Messager at the Hayward Gallery in London

Annette Messager
The Hayward Gallery
4th March - 25th May 2009

Annette Messager (born in 1943, lives and works in Paris) is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most important contemporary artists. The retrospective Annette Messager: The Messengers, presents an overview of the artist’s career and reveals her use of an astonishing and affecting repertoire of forms and materials (among them soft toys, stuffed animals, fabrics, wool, photographs and drawings). Mixing aesthetic registers and playing with remarkable virtuosity on our senses and feelings, this exhibition presents a panoramic survey from the intimate and conceptually driven pieces Messager made in the early 1970s to the very large sculptural installations of the past 15 years, in which movement plays an increasingly important role.

To learn more:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quote of the day

My quote of the day: "Tilda Swinton reminds me of David Bowie, Thin White Duke era"

Antony's exhibition in la galerie du jour in Paris

Ghost by Antony Hegarty
There was a time when I was totally obsessed by Antony. Antony remains one of my favourite artists and I am really happy to post this article on the exhibition he will have in Paris at la galerie du jour, agnès b's space.

We knew that Antony took the fashion designer's hat for a special dress he made but we didn't really know he was a visual artist. Burnt drawings, and other artworks are exhibited are part of the show. The main difference this time - the exhibition was previously displayed at galerie Isis in London - is that Antony collaborated with three other artists. Hs artworks' are juxtaposed with works from American photographer Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith and new york photographs by Alice O'Mailley.

The show will open on 7 April at galerie du Jour, in Paris and will be followed by two concert of the genius at Le Grand Rex.

To learn more:
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