Picasso at Gagosian; Running From Death

picasso-tete-dhomme-du-17eme-siecle-de-face-1967Gagosian Gallery just opened a large show of Pablo Picasso paintings and etchings at their 21st Street location in Chelsea.  I had the oportunity to run through the opening reception last night and I must say that I was impressed with what I saw.  Not specifically with the work itself.  I would argue that the end of Picasso’s career was not his strongest or most ground-breaking period of work.  But don’t get me wrong, the work is by Picasso, so its great.  But the impression that I got was that of a man frantically trying to paint away the impending aproach of the ‘end’.  Tons of work.  Which is impressive in and of itself.  But piece after piece done in large brush strokes and few colors.  Definitely less detailed, finished or, dare I say, thought out, than his best work.  These medium sized ’simpler’ canvases gave me the impression that this was a man that thought just maybe he could keep busy and paint enough artwork to earn him a little more time in the land of the living.  Alas it was not to be, Picasso is just as human as the rest of us.  But the shear amount of output, only a portion of which is on display at Gagosian, is impressive to behold.  Picasso’s creative surge, brought on by the one fear that we all share, is amazing to behold.

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