Monday, May 17, 2010
Picasso at the Met
I'm a relative neophyte to the art world. I grew up wanting to draw comic books and became pretty good at drawing, but the closest thing I've taken to a proper art class lately was the British art component of the prep course I had to take for the London trip I went on through my school. The London trip itself--with trips to the Tates Modern and Britain, the National Gallery, and others--expanded on the introduction I got from the class, and since then it's been a matter of absorbing what I can from the museums I visit and the books I pick up along the way.
So when The New Republic complains about the Picasso exhibit at the Met being unwieldy and unfocused, I don't really have any response. If I was better versed in the Spaniard's body of work, I suppose I would agree. As you can see here, there is a lot of material crammed together.
But given my limited background, I was more than happy to have so much of it there for me to take in. I had a vague idea of Picasso's range, mostly due to the masterworks at MoMa, but I never knew just how many styles the man went through in his life time, as all that schoolchildren are ever told about is Cubism. To the layman, it's not immediately obvious that creator of Pipe Rack and Still Life on a Table, above, had earlier painted The Blind Man's Meal:
or this self-portrait:
and would go on to make something like Las Meninas and Gentlemen in the Sierra
Discovering all this, in roughly chronological order, was a joy, and so I'm going to call this a win for egalitarianism.