Archive for June 2011

Picasso by the Bay

  San Francisco is so awash in Picasso this summer that I feel like I never left New York.  First the Steins’ Picassos, then the de Young, last night Woody Alan (pleasant fluff, but what a one-dimensional Picasso; though I suppose Woody may not have needed any more dimensions in the service of his film), and we haven’t yet even gotten to the ceramics show at the Legion of Honor.  The Steins Collect show at the SFMOMA is quite wonderful (ending Sept. 6; see above), but since it trails off near the beginning of Synthetic Cubism (when Picassos grew too dear for the Steins’ budget), it is good preparation for the de Young Museum exhibit: Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National…

Read More


Among the ways the Stein collection (currently on view at the SFMOMA) can be viewed is as one family’s referendum on the time-honored debate among art lovers: Picasso versus Matisse.  Those two artists contributed most of the significant pieces to the collection. Yet in addition to her brother Leo’s objection to  Gertrude’s sapphic relationship, the disagreement that developed between these siblings as to who was the better artist, Matisse or Picasso, tore them apart, drove Leo out of their shared apartment, and caused each of them to divest most of his or her holdings of the artist who had lost favor.  They’re presumably not the first couple to have suffered such a fate (though they may have been the first).  The poet…

Read More