Friday, April 19, 2013

Picasso and Chicago

It is only on display for the next couple of weeks, but the Art Institute is currently showing a special exhibit on Picasso's works.  Though I wasn't quite on board with the way the exhibit was organized and thought the idea of Picasso's connection with Chicago as a thread through the exhibit was tenuous, you should go.

There were some well-known paintings and sculpture, but a lot of the exhibit was of Picasso's drawings.  Here are some of what I thought were the highlights:

Drawings of a Bull.  There was a big collection of drawings of animals - many of them in a calligraphic style. 

Picasso used typical household goods in many of his works.  This sculpture is created from pots and pans and cake forms.

Lots of drawings with a pastel wash.  I'm particularly fond of the rooster in this one. 

Folk Art - Picasso style!

In the book Gertrude Stein wrote on Picasso in 1938, which I read this week, I learned the following funny story about Picasso:

When he was a young artist, he used to say that it would be so incredible if he were burglarized and someone stole his paintings and drawings (meaning his artwork was worth something).  And so, later on, when he was not an unknown artist, he was in fact burglarized, and the thieves thought only to steal his linens and left his artwork behind.  Fools.

Aside from just the artwork on display, there was a room in the exhibit that included information on learning about authenticity of, history of and the quest to discover the materials used in some of his artwork.  Descriptions of how art experts found out a lot of these things using various x-ray techniques, UV light and such fill one room of the exhibit and made some of the work that these curators do really exciting.  It also reminded me a bit of White Collar, which was fun.