Contemplating Picasso in 3-Dimensions

It’s been quite a
while since I’ve seen so many happy, smiling people wandering around an
exhibit. Such is the case at MoMA’s Picasso Sculpture
on view until February 7,

It’s a feel
good gem where you can actually snap all the cell phone photos you want without
guards telling you to stop, and visitors (including myself) were clicking away (see photos below).

have always been a fan of Cubism, the inspired artistic invention of Braque and
Picasso that shattered conventional perspective and more. Credit to Cezanne for
seeing planes and perspective and form differently and leaving a legacy that
broke with tradition. So we come to Cubism and collage and bizarre angles and
shapes that astound me today by forming coherent images. All of which prolific
Picasso took to another level and dimension on view in this  expansive exhibit.

artistic genius (despite his less than stellar treatment of women) is widely
recognized and categorized into different periods in so many major museums,
collection, and shows. Images
he painted are sold worldwide and reproduced on every possible surface.

what else is there to see of Picasso’s that’s different? Leave it to The Museum
of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC to find something NY Times critic Roberta Stone called
a “once-in-a-lifetime

Picasso’s genius—his constant reinvention—is reinforced in
this exhibition of his three-dimensional pieces, covering the periods between
1902-1964, in material as diverse as wood, metal, wire, sand, paint, clay, and
household objects such as cake molds, spoons, tumbled stones, colanders, faucets,
and bicycle seats, among others. He
saw art in discarded and unrelated objects and shaped them into recognizable people
and figures and animals long before the recycling was fashionable.

In addition to his actual assemblages, there are brilliant
and illuminating Brassai photographs of these pieces taken in Picasso’s studios between 1932 and 1945, as well as fanciful forms in Picasso’s
anatomical drawings that almost dance off the page.

While in NYC recently, I saw the exhibit for the second
time and if I were in NYC, I’d go again. A few favorites, though it’s hard to
pick favorites: a radical design for a memorial to Apolinaire that was too
daring at the time and was rejected; “The Venus of Gas” composed an iron burner
and pipe from a gas stove; his amusing, tipsy “Glass
of Absinthe” sculptures, his painted bronze “Crane” with a shovel for a body
and tail stretching its recycled, twisted fork legs and nuts and bolts head.

the suggestive series of “Head of a Woman” where facial features are metaphors
for sexual organs as in various plaster incarnations of Marie-Thérèse, to the whimsical “Bull’s Head” fashioned from old bicycle
parts, don’t miss Picasso Sculptures at MoMA.

His witty, lyrical, ingenious, recycled 3-d creations
often provoke deeper thought and will make you smile, too.

For a thorough, insightful review:

of the pieces are on loan from private collections, various Picasso museums and
homes including Musée
, in Paris,
renovated and reopened in 2014 (scroll down to my end note in my June Blog If you are a Picasso fan and are visiting
the South of France, make reservations to see his last home near Aix-en-Provence, Chateau de

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