Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wowie-Zowie! Picasso and American Art @ the Whitney Museum

Wowie-Zowie! Blam! Get to the Whitney and see this fabulously conceived and wonderfully surprising exhibit. Picasso is paired with a slew of state-side modernistas in ways that show some to their advantage and cause some to wilt in the glaring light of the greater genuis that was Pablo Picasso in all his many guises.
Pollock, de Kooning and Max Weber (see his Chinese Restaurant) show outstanding tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds; Jasper Johns comes out looking pallid, thin and rather dry. Some of the Roy Lichtenstein paintings hold up better than others (his output was uneven).
I went to the 'members only' preview today and was knocked out by the stunning examples by Pollock and De Kooning (the De Kooning Queen of Hearts painting would have looked great here alongside a painting of the same title by John Graham, though).
One small Picasso painting of a bullfight stands out for the outragously fluid paint handling which made it look quite at home among Pollock's signature drippings.
This is a must-see exhibit and may turn out to be the highlight of the Fall season.

Related links:
De Kooning paintings from the Columbia University Art History Database (scroll dopwn to see Pink Angel from 1945)

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