Luckily, the man is dead and I’m too old, anyway. But what a creative, wild, whimsical, cruel, delicious mind and vision that guy had.
We Amtraked to Seattle on Wednesday, and Thursday we were at SAM (the Seattle Art Museum), wandering amidst their Picasso exhibit. It is great (it will be there until January 17th), and I wouldn’t mind going back for another grazing. The exhibit ranges through pretty much his entire career — it’s part of the collection of the Musee National Picasso de Paris — and stunned me. Sometimes an artist’s originals are pretty well represented in reproductions in books and on the web. While Picasso is “well” represented (i.e. he’s everywhere), like Van Gogh, no reproduction can do his art justice. And the span of time that the exhibit covers gives a huge context to his artistic output. I loved having that context.
All that said, I must admit that my photo output of the trip was, as is often the case when I’m enthralled, quite limited. I did take a picture from the train window when we were stopped on a siding. I don’t know who or what lives up on this bluff, but the structure overlooks not just the tracks but Puget Sound.
Note the blue sky! We didn’t see a lot of it as the day went on. We walked from King Station to our hotel next to the Public Library without getting soaked, although we needed our umbrellas. And it was warm enough that our wild dashes through the night-lit city and pouring sideways rain to the restaurant felt adventurous.
Thursday morning we went down to the Pike Street Market where we always eat breakfast and watch the crows play in the wind over Elliot Bay. And I generally remember to take a few photos there. Seattle feels like a real city to me, as opposed to my (beloved) Portland, which is really a very large town. I remembered to take a few photos as we waited for the museum to open at 10 AM:
And then I stuck my camera in my pocket and forgot I had it. Four hours of the Museum and Picasso, and two and a half of catching up with a dear friend we hadn’t seen for years, and it was time to dash through the rain to catch the train back to Portland.
33 quite intense hours, the big city, the great art, the conversation that could have continued for ten more hours –whew! It was good to collapse into the Amtrak seat and stare out the window at the commuter train on the other side of the tracks. –June
Below is the Seattle Art Museum’s description of the Picasso exhibit:
Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris—the largest and most important repository of the artist’s work in the world—the exhibition features more than 150 extraordinary paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs. This unprecedented opportunity is possible at this time because the Musée Picasso has recently closed for renovations, allowing a global tour of this full-scale survey to travel for the first and, very likely, the only time.
The Musée Picasso’s holdings stand apart from any other collections of Picasso because they represent the artist’s personal collection—works that the highly self-aware artist kept for himself with the intent of shaping his own artistic legacy.