March 26, 2009

Picassify it

In the NY Times Carol Vogel wonders what Picasso was thinking during the final years of his life, when he was living in Notre-Dame-de-Vie on the French Riviera, obsessively producing images of musketeers and matadors, twisted couples and haunted women laced with obvious art-historical references or simply drawn from his fertile imagination. His unflagging confidence and complete belief in the brush remind me of the late Gustons I saw at the National Gallery this week. A show of Picasso's late work, which has sold pretty well in the last few years, opens this week at Gagosian's Chelsea gallery. "These works were created when Picasso was married to Jacqueline Roque, his second wife and one his many muses. He was ostensibly living in retirement, surrounded by a small group of old friends. While his output was immense, even his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, was skeptical about the work. 'People thought he had lost it,' Picasso biographer and friend John Richardson said. 'But this was actually an amazing burst of volcanic energy. He wanted to somehow assimilate the whole Western figurative tradition and Picassify it.'...That the show is being held in one of Gagosian’s Chelsea spaces rather than its uptown site might at first seem curious, but the decision was deliberate. 'To have it in a contemporary art area in Gagosian’s most contemporary space is to show Picasso as if he were a young artist,' Mr. Richardson said. 'You suddenly see him in a new light.'" Read more.

See a slide show of Richardson installing the show at Gagosian.

"Pablo Picasso: Mosqueteros," curated by John Richardson. Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY. March 26 -June 6.

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