Friday, December 10, 2010

Picasso in Seattle

There is a once-in-a-lifetime Picasso Exhibit showing right now at the Seattle Art Museum. The Picasso Museum in France is undergoing rennovations. The French decided to let his works go on tour, and Seattle was very fortunate to land a spot. I happened to be in Seattle for work this week, and with a little time between meetings, I suddenly found myself able to check it out. 

I was impressed that Picasso was always pushing the limits of the norms on painting. You pick this up, walking through the various periods of his life's paintings. He seems very professorial about his work, consciously challenging norms, constantly reaffirming that he makes the rules about painting, not past masters, but with respect. And he was always mixing women and work. I found myself ambivalent about any number of paintings, and then one would catch my attention for a while. Credit his genius. The exhibit is very worthwhile-I'm glad I went.

Each room had one of his quotes, posted high on the wall--I wrote a few down:

  • "No pleasure without the taste of ashes."

  • "Art is never chaste."

  • "Painting is stronger than me. It makes me do what it wants."

  • "When I paint I feel that all the artists of the past are behind me."

  • "It takes a long time to become young."
The Picasso exhibit took me a little more than an hour, listening to many of the commentaries on the device they gave me. $23 full price. The pictures above and immediately below are Picassos. No pictures allowed, I found after snapping the second shot.

Afterwards, I did a quick spin around the rest of the museum. It's been a while. There are some wonderful paintings, particularly in the modern art category, including Rothkos, a Morris Graves, a Jackson Pollack. I was particularly happy to come across a painting called "Darrington Rain"-picture below--of Darrington, Washington in 1947 by Skagit County native Alden Mason. I did not know of this local painter, but a whole room was dedicated to his works, right near the Rothkos.

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