1. 3/16/2009

    I enjoyed your review of the Picasso show. You may have already received comments about this — The Raft of the Medusa was painted by Théodore Géricault, not by Eugène Delacroix.

    • 3/16/2009

      Thanks for catching that . . . I don’t know where my mind was.

  2. CLessley

    Our gratitude for your precise, articulate writing. This blog is better informed than most reviews, critiques and Symposia. I have participated in academia. You are never overbearing or coarse. Your blog should be required reading at every American learning institution that teaches art.

    I saw Picasso’s career-spanning retrospective in the mid-1990’s at LACMA in Los Angeles. The double-speak and uneasiness of institutions’ desire to brand Picasso in a certain way was easily identifiable to me even as a sophomore in high school.

    I too, spent many hours at that show, and even as a very naive boy I knew I was before something significant – in spite of curators desire to think for me. The feelings and needs to, “admire Picasso’s admiration for “traditional” artists while, in some cases, denying them admiration” is spot on.

    Finally, a Reasoned perspective on Pablo Picasso.

  3. Elatia Harris

    Thanks — great post! I see you’ve been traveling.

    Decades ago (1972?…), Robert Rosenblum wrote the Ingres monograph for Abrams. His analysis of the great female portraits was among the first really compelling works of art history I ever read. He wrote about some curious conventions Ingres used — painting volumetric forms as if they were flat (the edge of the abdomen of a bather), squeezing too much mass into too small a corner (Mme. Haussonville), adding two vertebrae to another bather’s back — all this for the logic of the picture space rather than verisimilitude, and for breaking down the elements of the composition into a pattern rather than setting up an illusion of forms receding in space, the better to create a sense of enclosure. Hence, the almost aural quality of the stillness one feels when looking at these images. And the slight feeling, on the viewer’s part, of being disoriented that makes these portraits more confrontational and arresting — more iconic — than those by other mid-19th century painters.

    There must have been some better reason for these conventions than to give Picasso more to work with! But in the 1970’s, we lived in a Pablocentric world — all roads led to him. Maybe it’s only a question of how vividly an artist can inhabit art history, since he cannot really overturn it — despite labors of repudiation that, seen from the right distance, are but a coming to terms.

  4. Kevin Grant Ruffner

    Picasso’s “Nude Women in Red” is like a stick of cotton candy in the hands of a young boy jaunting through eternity; and eternity’s name: Miss Donna Jean Godchaux.

  5. Ali Doorandish

    that was Absorbing

  6. 4/29/2009

    Loved this post! so much that I linked to it on my blog! I will keep coming back here and put you in my blog roll!.


    • 5/18/2009

      Thank you for your gentle and necessary prodding! My wife recently gave birth to our second son, and I have used that as an excuse to fall behind in all kinds of things.

      I’m glad I didn’t lose you.

  7. ian

    really enjoyed the review, good idea to display so vividly 3 of picasso’s works and the old masters and concentrate on those with some succinct comments and overall impressions. I went to see the exhibition in may and enjoyed it, read a lot of reviews that were quire indifferent to the concept and layout of the exhibition but it worked well enough for me

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