Saturday, April 23, 2011

Picasso in Richmond

I enjoy following connections backward to see where an idea or even a suggestion might have started and where I might wind up.

A few days ago, a good friend suggested that I visit the Kreeger Museum.  I had always planned to visit, but never took the time. Finally, yesterday, I did.  It's a wonderful little museum with Monets, Cezannes, Van Goghs and a few Picasso's.

During the tour, someone happened to mention a Picasso exhibition in Richmond.  Outside, I grabbed my phone and did a search.  Sure enough, a major Picasso show was underway at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. I just happened to be driving in that direction.
I highly recommend this show.  It features nearly 200 paintings and drawings on loan from the Musee National Picasso in Paris -- another museum that I missed during my last visit to Paris. The museum is open late -- until 9pm on some nights and even til midnight on other nights to accommodate the crowds.

It was a bit crowded and crazed last evening, but room enough to spend time with each piece without feeling rushed.

Picasso truly evolved as a painter. It really takes an exhibition like this one to see this evolution.  His early academic style of painting -- the influence of the impressionists, Cezanne and so on. He refused to settle into a comfortable style -- Picasso was innovative -- borrowing from this painter and that painter and finding his own way.

This exhibition shows the evolution by giving us a glimpse of those early years and the last years of his life.

As you walk into the first room of the exhibition -- high on the wall in quotation marks is the famous Picasso quote: 'It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.'

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