So the Missus and I went to the Big Town for a Picasso-palooza and here’s what we took in:
First Stop: the Museum of Modern Art for “Picasso: Themes and Variations,” a dazzling array of 123 prints from MOMA’s basement and attic. As we walked through the exhibit I said to the Missus, “Geez – Picasso was so good in so many mediums – etching, drypoint, lithograph, woodcut, linoleum cut. It’s amazing.”
“Yep,” she said. “He’s the James Cagney of artists.”
New York Times critic Holland Cotter put it in more academic terms, calling Picasso a “restless wizard of forms and lines.” Either way, seeing Picasso’s series of transformative images – his print of a bull, for instance, going from representational to cubist to minimalist – was at times jaw-dropping.
Side Trip: MOMA’s spectacular Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition of photographs, characterized by his celestial knack for “celebrating action by freezing it, and turning the world into elegant patterns.”
(Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare sort of does both.)
Bad Trip: The Broadway production of “Enron,” a play the British critics loved but New York Times critic Ben Brantley panned.
(Dramatic aside: For better or worse, I can’t remember a time I’ve disagreed with a Brantley review, and that goes double for “Enron.”)
(Strange interlude: At intermission, a lot of folks were turning in their audio enhancement equipment and getting their drivers licenses back. First guy, to his companion: “Okay, I’m all set.” Second guy: “Yes, except . . . you’re wearing my jacket.”)
Second Stop: “Celebrating the Muse: Women in Picasso’s Prints From 1905-1968,” at the Marlborough Gallery on West 57th Street. This encyclopedic exhibit features 204 pieces that constitute the Picasso Girlfriend Reunion Tour.
Call the roll: Fernande Olivier, Olga Kokhlova, Marie-Therese Walter, Dora Maar, Francoise Gilot, Jacqueline Rogue.
Trip Advisor: The Hungarian Modernism exhibit the Missus and I stumbled upon at Shepherd & Derom Galleries on East 79th Street.
Third Stop: “Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” another basement-and-attic show that’s sort of a mullet exhibition: tidy up front, unruly in the back.
And with that, the hardlooking staff at Campaign Outsider will . . . stop.