The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing Contrast. You can link to all the ArtSmart contributions below. For February we welcome a new team to the ArtSmart group – Lydian and Pal of Art Weekenders! They are based in Amsterdam and love sharing ideas for art and culture based getaways. We’re so excited to welcome them to the Roundtable!
Pablo Picasso – “Portrait de Dora Maar” 1937 (Photo: Musee Picasso Paris)
Contrast is a fundamental concept in art. Artists use colors, movement, shapes and volume to add contrast and build emotion in their work. But what happens when an individual internalizes the concept of contrast and applies it to his or her own career? Pablo Picasso was an incredibly gifted artist but I have always been struck by how deliberate and thought-out his works were. Wanting to explore new creative approaches, Picasso radically switched between several styles throughout his career, each one unique and captivating. That to me is his genius and a real lesson in Contrast.
Partial grazing light image of Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” as it hangs at The Art Institute of Chicago
It is not uncommon for artists to rework or even reuse canvases. Careful examination with scientific techniques can offer glimpses of pasts images buried beneath the surface. But sometimes you don’t need sophisticated instruments; sometimes the underlying image is very obvious looking at the final piece. This was my experience with Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” and the ghostly woman’s face in the top center of the painting. Looking at it from the side and letting the light graze the image, you can see the depth of her face very clearly.
While in New York City this past weekend visiting friends, I happened across a lamp post advertisement featuring one of my favorite portraits ever, Femme au collier jaune (1946) by Pablo Picasso. (This image should be familiar to anyone who reads my blog!) Turns out this privately owned work is in New York as part of the exhibit, “Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris–Vallauris 1943–1953” at the Gagosian Gallery from May 2 – June 30, 2012. Having not previously heard about the exhibit, I stumbled upon the poster around the corner from the gallery; clearly this was fate!