18 October 2011

a day at the museum

We caught Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris at the de Young Museum on its last day. 'Twas a foggy, drizzly sort of day, softly warm. It put us in the right mood for viewing art.

I'd heard many good things about the exhibit and was curious to see it. Picasso isn't my favorite artist and I hadn't seen a large collection of his work before, so I wondered what I would think and feel when I stood in front of his work. The exhibit was quite extensive, displayed mostly chronologically, and included paintings, studies for paintings and sculpture. Perhaps the quote that resonated with me the most was:

"Painting is 
just another way 
of keeping a diary."
- Picasso

I hadn't thought about painting in that exact way before, but I liked it very much. For me, blogging is another way of keeping a diary - of artistic pursuits in particular - and I could see how Picasso recorded his experiences in his art. The exhibit felt both like walking through an experiment of multiple phases and also of browsing a journal of events and opinions. Sometimes the styles led from one to another - expressionism, cubism, neoclassicism, surrealism - and sometimes the leaps in style were huge with the art seeming to connect only by repeating themes (such as of bathers in striped blue suits on the beach). Why so many bathers? Why the stripes? I felt more curious about him by viewing the collection of work.

I enjoyed the studies on paper that led to canvas works or sculptures. I was impressed by the large scale of his work and his enormous capacity to create. I also found that I appreciated the design of his works more than many of the works themselves, or their message. There were not too many that I would feel like hanging in my home or living with on a daily basis. Sometimes it seemed that the message of the art was lost in the study of its process - although that wasn't the case with his Bull's Head, which just might be my favorite piece of the entire show. 

Overall, the exhibit was quite fascinating and interesting. I was glad not to miss it.

Looking across the plaza to the California Academy of Sciences.

The next de Young exhibit I'm especially looking forward to is The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, arriving in the spring. But I'm sure I'll be back to Golden Gate Park before then...


WindFlower7 said...

I like some of Picasso works. It gave me the confidence do not have to be so realistic always

kimi said...

I agree! I also felt better about not having just one style. :)