vendredi 31 octobre 2008

Comprehensive Picasso Exhibition Explores his Relationship to the Masters

An exciting new exhibit is coming to Paris' Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.

Picasso is well known not only his incredibly innovative and groundbreaking approaches to art, but also for his many "reinventions" of classic paintings. Beginning in 1950 until 1963, Picasso fractured some of the greatest works in artistic history by running them through the inventive, beautifully distorted prism of his unique talent.

Part homage, part recreation, these works have been the subject of numerous studies.

The new exhibit, "Picasso and the Masters" (Picasso et les Maîtres) is a bold, expansive exhibition that brings some of Picasso's most fascinating works together with the original works that inspired him.

As well as being one of the architects of cubism and one of the painters who ushered in the era of "modern art," Picasso is well noted for his distorted images of the real world that sometimes seem to resemble nightmares more than the stuff of dreams. Some have attributed is more human distortions (women in particular) as a form of misogyny, but Picasso was a man of few words, so the tying of these interpretations to real life must be confined to the study of his life. (And Picasso's string of lovers, sometimes abandoned, seem to lend credence to this interpretation.)

Whatever your opinion, Picasso's draftsmanship is one of the undeniable facts of modern art. And the numerous works he created that reinterpret the works of the masters that came before him lends itself to an entirely new dimension of study.

Just a few of the masterworks that appear here include the work of such giants as Van Gogh, Manet, El Greco, Degas, Lautrec, Ingres, Renoir, Cézanne, Vélasquez, Gauguin, Ribera, Le Nain, Dubois, Zurbarán, Chardin, David, Delacroix, Titian, Rembrandt and Goya.

In an effort to keep the appreciation of the works separate, rather than creating a potentially pointless side-by-side comparison, works are not necessarily shown together. However, some of them are shown adjacent, such as in the case of Velázquez’s portrait of the Infanta Maria Marguerita. The original 1653 works hangs beside Picasso’s explosively colorful interpretation of the masterwork.

There is an entire room devoted the nudes, which underscores Picasso's tendency to violent re-imaginings of the female form. Here Goya’s “Maja Desnuda," “Odalisque en Grisaille” and Manet’s “Olympia” meet Picasso's fractured recreations.

An apartment for rent in the 8th from gives you access to this wonderful exhibition by letting you live in the same glamorous district as the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. The 8th has so much to offer, this historical show is, in a sense, the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of attractions. (Think the Champs Elysées and Arc of Triumph, for starters!)

You can also choose to stay in a district very near the 8th, such as the 9th "Opera district," the luxurious 16th, or even the famous 7th or 6th (Saint Germain), which are just across the Seine.

The exhibition will take place at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, from Wednesday to Monday from 10 AM until 8 PM, with Wednesday a late-night showing until 10 PM.

"by Pablo Lopez, Contributing Writer"