Saturday, June 30, 2012

Picasso at the AGO




I had a great week leading up to the long weekend. Went out to see the Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario; these were pieces from the Musée National Picasso in Paris, an amazing collection of more than 150 of the master's paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. The Musée is undergoing renovations, which is why we're getting the chance to see these pieces in person, with Toronto being the only Canadian city on the tour, and its final destination before returning to Paris.

We actually arrived downtown in time for lunch, passing through Chinatown (haven't been there in an age!) before arriving at Kensington Market. We found this little place called El Trompo, serving really authentic, fresh Mexican food. The guacamole was very fresh, perfectly seasoned. the chuleta and tinga tacos were delicious (roasted pork chop and spicy pulled chicken), as well as their own jalapeño dipping sauce. All downed with a bottle of Negra Modelo, a perfect way to enjoy a lunch out on the patio.

The exhibit was incredible. The pieces were shown chronologically, giving you a distinct sense of the evolution of his style (and his many mistresses). Oh yes, he was a lover of women, even if his pieces don't always seem to reflect that. His female nudes are so incredibly reductive, deconstructing the women to nothing more than eyes, nose, breasts, and legs. And just penises everywhere, especially around the times when he took up with a new mistress. I actually found a few of the pieces from his Blue period incredibly powerful. They have this quiet intensity that I find more impactful than many of his later works. His later works are so un-subtle, so raging that it's almost surprising to see how masterful he was at creating more tender, pianissimo ones.

This was not a subtle man. I suppose the most obvious and impressive aspect of Picasso is his creativity. Simply incredible, to see him continue to experiment and challenge well into his 70's and 80's. A romantic all around - he married his last wife when he was 72 and she was 27. Go check out the exhibit; it leaves August 26. A great day at the AGO.


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