|Detail from Pablo Picasso’s “Crouching Woman.” |
I spent several minutes in front of this painting
feeling the heaviness of her shadowed closed eyes.
Today I took in the Picasso exhibit at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. I have not seen an exhibit that more moved me than this one. It was exquisite even with the teeming crowds who were viewing.
|Picasso’s “Celestina,” 1903|
The exhibit features paintings and sculptures by Pablo Picasso from 1901 through 1906—his Blue and Rose periods. These works represent the emergence of a signature style that established Picasso as a figurative painter. Although these works are interesting and moving, it was the juxtaposition of the moody, somber and melancholy monochromatic Blue period paintings (1901-1904) with the lighter subject matter and pallet of the Rose period paintings (1904-1906) that caused me to think about the young man and his times. I seemed to have forgotten that Picasso was just a man in his young 20s when he painted these works.
Seeing the works together and contextualized allowed me to also see the genius who was so vulnerable and so resilient.
|Picasso’s “Acrobat and the Young Harlequin,” 1905|