Archive for July 2011

Picasso in Exile

Why bother visiting Paris, you might ask, as long as the Picasso Museum remains closed?  Good question.  But my family and I decided to go anyway, unwilling to wait another year.  Our Picasso treasure hunt therefore required a little extra work, since you couldn’t very well go to just one place and be greeted by Picasso’s many persons and things.  Our first Picasso sighting was just a fortunate accident–while strolling near our flat, my wife Casey spotted this wonderful, if bird-stained, bronze of Dora Maar (Tête de femme, aka Monument à Guillaume Apollinaire) in a small garden in the shadow of the gothic Church of St. Germain des Prés (located at its eponymous square).  This wartime sculpture (1941) was chosen by committee to…

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Scam, or Not? You be the judge….

To add to the ever-increasing list of art scams comes this story, which distinguishes itself with its novel, dramatic flair.  I should say “possible” art scams, since this one remains unproved.  As you know, usually I write only about Picasso, but this tale seemed so unusual that it grabbed my attention.  How about I lay bare the story and you could be the judge? About a month ago, on a fine spring morning, two friends of mine, a well-heeled Bay Area couple on a jaunt to NY, stumbled into a Chelsea gallery, where an installation of works on paper by a Japanese artist was being hung.  They fell in love with two of the artworks, each measuring around 2 x…

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The Picasso Museum on wheels, currently at the de Young in San Francisco, is such a wonderful show (see “Picasso by the Bay” below) that it’s almost easier to discuss what’s not there than what is.  Well not quite, though each great Picasso, in addition to being loved and understood on its own merits, must be seen in the context of his entire oeuvre for full appreciation, given the added dimensions that the context inevitably provides.  I won’t again trot out the by now overused Picasso-ism about the movement of his thought interesting him (in his later years) more than the thought itself–there, I said it anyway. But nowhere is that movement better preserved, with the exception of the successive…

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