I paint the way some people write their autobiography…. I have less and less time and yet I have more and more to say, and what I have to say is, increasingly, something about the movement of my thought.
This collection of “Picasso’s Picassos” comprises 150 of the thousands of pieces amassed by the artist and bequeathed by his heirs to the French government to allay its vampiric inheritance tax. Arranged chronologically, the abridged but representative array of Picasso’s career reflects his belief that painting is “just another way of keeping a diary"; the works become a multifarious self-portrait spanning seventy years. The exhibit begins with what one would swear is a Van Gogh, not merely for its effulgent colors, rough, thick brushstrokes, and the almost material quality of the light beams emanating from the candle, but also for its morbid preoccupation. La Mort De Casagemas (1901) depicts Picasso’s friend and poet, dead from suicide over a failed love affair. Picasso was twenty years old and newly enthralled by the avant-garde movement thriving in his adopted city of Paris; he quickly mastered its various innovations before launching into his Blue Period. (continue reading)