Nelson-Atkins Museum Part II

The Picasso Exhibit was a special ticket . . . all of $10.00 a piece.  Well worth every penny.  Enjoy.

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   First Communion,   Oil on canvas, 1896.  This is Picasso's first significant oil painting.

First Communion, Oil on canvas, 1896.  This is Picasso's first significant oil painting.

   Portrait of a Woman,   by Henry Rousseau (French), Oil on canvas, 1895.  "In 1908, Picasso bought this painting by Henri Rousseau in a secondhand store for five francs.  He later called it 'one of the most truthful of all French psychological portraits.'  It breaks away from formal portraits of the time through a flattened image and odd touches, like an upside-down branch.  Picasso saw in Rousseau an authenticity and immediacy that he felt was absent in society.  He sought out Rousseau, a self-taught artist, and held a banquet in his honor.  It is considered one of the legendary parties of the early 1900s - full of farce, practical jokes, and dramatic personalitiese"

Portrait of a Woman, by Henry Rousseau (French), Oil on canvas, 1895.  "In 1908, Picasso bought this painting by Henri Rousseau in a secondhand store for five francs.  He later called it 'one of the most truthful of all French psychological portraits.'  It breaks away from formal portraits of the time through a flattened image and odd touches, like an upside-down branch.  Picasso saw in Rousseau an authenticity and immediacy that he felt was absent in society.  He sought out Rousseau, a self-taught artist, and held a banquet in his honor.  It is considered one of the legendary parties of the early 1900s - full of farce, practical jokes, and dramatic personalitiese"

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   Serpent Figure, Bansonyi,   Guinea, Baga culture, Wood with pigment, late 1800s to early 1900s. "Slithering vertically, this serpent rises to depend itself.  Known as a-Mantsho-ña- Tshol, or 'master of medicine', it was summoned to bestow rainfall, fertility, good fortune, and well-being on the community.  It o feat of extraordinary balance, it was carried by dancers on their heads, strapped into cloth-covered basketry support."

Serpent Figure, Bansonyi, Guinea, Baga culture, Wood with pigment, late 1800s to early 1900s. "Slithering vertically, this serpent rises to depend itself.  Known as a-Mantsho-ña- Tshol, or 'master of medicine', it was summoned to bestow rainfall, fertility, good fortune, and well-being on the community.  It o feat of extraordinary balance, it was carried by dancers on their heads, strapped into cloth-covered basketry support."

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   Shango Staff,   Benin, Yoruba culture, Wood, glass bead, brass, iron and plant fiber, 1900s. "Carved from a single piece of wood, the sensuous, staked forms of this Yoruba staff create a dynamic play of three dimensionality and negative and positive spaces."

Shango Staff, Benin, Yoruba culture, Wood, glass bead, brass, iron and plant fiber, 1900s. "Carved from a single piece of wood, the sensuous, staked forms of this Yoruba staff create a dynamic play of three dimensionality and negative and positive spaces."

   Small Nude with Raised Arms,   Oil on wood, 1907.  "During the spring and summer of 1907, Picasso sketched stylized nudes as experiments in his new departure from realism.  This simplified drawing depicts a woman reaching up to support a beam balanced on her head.  Her angular body has the same muscular legs of women depicted by the Kanak of New Caledonia and the Yoruba of Benin, as seen in the sculptures nearby."

Small Nude with Raised Arms, Oil on wood, 1907.  "During the spring and summer of 1907, Picasso sketched stylized nudes as experiments in his new departure from realism.  This simplified drawing depicts a woman reaching up to support a beam balanced on her head.  Her angular body has the same muscular legs of women depicted by the Kanak of New Caledonia and the Yoruba of Benin, as seen in the sculptures nearby."

   Female Mask,   wood, early 1900s.  "One of Picasso's friends, the art dealer Paul Guillaume, owned two masks similar to this one, and Picasso bought this example in his rush of early collecting.  Its exaggerated, protruding features and slit eyes also appear in Picasso's paintings.  Used to help solve problems in the village, this serene, yet boldly minimal mask represents the medicinal and spiritual power of the forest."

Female Mask, wood, early 1900s.  "One of Picasso's friends, the art dealer Paul Guillaume, owned two masks similar to this one, and Picasso bought this example in his rush of early collecting.  Its exaggerated, protruding features and slit eyes also appear in Picasso's paintings.  Used to help solve problems in the village, this serene, yet boldly minimal mask represents the medicinal and spiritual power of the forest."

   Mother and Child,   oil on canvas, 1907.  "Motherhood takes an unusual turn in this painting, which followed the completion of the completion of   Les Demoiselles d"Avignon  . Vivid contrasting colors, stylized faces and coarse brushstrokes seem to defy the warmth and gentleness more commonly used to depict this subject.  It is another signal of Picasso's decisive turn toward a strong and often startling visual language."

Mother and Child, oil on canvas, 1907.  "Motherhood takes an unusual turn in this painting, which followed the completion of the completion of Les Demoiselles d"Avignon. Vivid contrasting colors, stylized faces and coarse brushstrokes seem to defy the warmth and gentleness more commonly used to depict this subject.  It is another signal of Picasso's decisive turn toward a strong and often startling visual language."

   Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,   Oil on canvas, 1907.  "Considered one of the most famous works of art from the 20th century, Picasso's painting marks a radical break from traditional European painting.  Within a compressed space, five nude women appear to project from the picture's surface.  Their bodies are composed of flat, fractured planes, while their faces are inspired by Iberian sculpture and African masks.  This work signals a revolution in Picasso's style and established him as the leader of the Parisian avant-garde.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Oil on canvas, 1907.  "Considered one of the most famous works of art from the 20th century, Picasso's painting marks a radical break from traditional European painting.  Within a compressed space, five nude women appear to project from the picture's surface.  Their bodies are composed of flat, fractured planes, while their faces are inspired by Iberian sculpture and African masks.  This work signals a revolution in Picasso's style and established him as the leader of the Parisian avant-garde.

   Figure and Profile,   Oil on canvas, 1928.

Figure and Profile, Oil on canvas, 1928.

   Woman in Red Armchair,   Oil on canvas, 1929.

Woman in Red Armchair, Oil on canvas, 1929.

   The Kiss,   Oil on canvas, 1929.  "No tender lover's kiss, this is an aggressive mutual stand-off suffused with friction.  Noses may meet, but mouths curve inward and eyes do not connect.  This cold encounter was painted when Picasso's marriage to Olga Khokhlova was threatened by his affair with a younger woman, Marie Thèrése Walter."

The Kiss, Oil on canvas, 1929.  "No tender lover's kiss, this is an aggressive mutual stand-off suffused with friction.  Noses may meet, but mouths curve inward and eyes do not connect.  This cold encounter was painted when Picasso's marriage to Olga Khokhlova was threatened by his affair with a younger woman, Marie Thèrése Walter."

   Figure,   oil and charcoal on plywood closet door, 1930. "Women who provoke and perplex are the subject of many of Picasso's visions around this time.  He had turned against his wife, Olga Khokhlova, while nurturing an affair with a younger woman, Marie-Thérèse Walter.  Many of his female figures become flat, geometric and puzzle pieces with no depth and an ominous air.  This is in extreme contrast to the voluptuous grace accorded to depictions of Marie-Thérèse."

Figure, oil and charcoal on plywood closet door, 1930. "Women who provoke and perplex are the subject of many of Picasso's visions around this time.  He had turned against his wife, Olga Khokhlova, while nurturing an affair with a younger woman, Marie-Thérèse Walter.  Many of his female figures become flat, geometric and puzzle pieces with no depth and an ominous air.  This is in extreme contrast to the voluptuous grace accorded to depictions of Marie-Thérèse."

   Large Still Life on a Table,   Oil on canvas, 1931.  "This still life is far from still.  Everything seems to be in motion - the white cup wobbles, and the table legs rush out like tentacles.  Underlying these dynamic forms and playful colors is a disguised portrait of Picasso's lover, Marie Thèrése Walter.  In his own way, Picasso subverted the still-life tradition.  Constantly alert to suggestive visual puns, he once said, "Objects rhyme, as words do, in painting melon rhymes with mandolin."

Large Still Life on a Table, Oil on canvas, 1931.  "This still life is far from still.  Everything seems to be in motion - the white cup wobbles, and the table legs rush out like tentacles.  Underlying these dynamic forms and playful colors is a disguised portrait of Picasso's lover, Marie Thèrése Walter.  In his own way, Picasso subverted the still-life tradition.  Constantly alert to suggestive visual puns, he once said, "Objects rhyme, as words do, in painting melon rhymes with mandolin."

   Head of a Bearded Man,   Oil on Canvas, 1938. "With dilated nostrils, spiked ears and thick bushy hair and beard, this man does no appear to be fully human.  He seems to be holding his volatile nature in check.  Sensing his own dark impulses led Picasso to create many striking portraits of men.  While this one is relatively tame, Picasso often went further, with machismo fantasies of himself as the Minotaur who chased and captured women.

Head of a Bearded Man, Oil on Canvas, 1938. "With dilated nostrils, spiked ears and thick bushy hair and beard, this man does no appear to be fully human.  He seems to be holding his volatile nature in check.  Sensing his own dark impulses led Picasso to create many striking portraits of men.  While this one is relatively tame, Picasso often went further, with machismo fantasies of himself as the Minotaur who chased and captured women.

   Crouching Figure,   Papua New Guinea Latmul culture, Wood with paint, 1700s to early 1800s.  "Picasso acquired this figure in 1944.  He would have appreciated the figure's fanlike hands, pointed knees and swirling lines, and expression of intense concentration.  Originally, this figure had hair made of feathers and a beard made of human hair."

Crouching Figure, Papua New Guinea Latmul culture, Wood with paint, 1700s to early 1800s.  "Picasso acquired this figure in 1944.  He would have appreciated the figure's fanlike hands, pointed knees and swirling lines, and expression of intense concentration.  Originally, this figure had hair made of feathers and a beard made of human hair."

   Pregnant Woman,   bronze, 1949.  "At the time that this was created, Picasso's lover, Françoise Gilot, was pregnant with and gave birth to their daughter Paloma.  Picasso is fearless in his inventive representation of pregnancy.  Here, the body is a line with extending limbs and a large ball as a stomach, summing up the pregnant female form with little detail."

Pregnant Woman, bronze, 1949.  "At the time that this was created, Picasso's lover, Françoise Gilot, was pregnant with and gave birth to their daughter Paloma.  Picasso is fearless in his inventive representation of pregnancy.  Here, the body is a line with extending limbs and a large ball as a stomach, summing up the pregnant female form with little detail."

   Head on Red Background,   oil on wood, 1930.

Head on Red Background, oil on wood, 1930.

   Female Figure,   bronze, 1948.

Female Figure, bronze, 1948.

   Woman with Stroller,   Bronze, 1950. "After seeing his lover Françoise Gilot push their son, Claude, in a carriage, Picasso began to construct this sculpture.  A master scavenger, he assembled it out of found materials before casting a bronze version.  Cake molds, stove plates, a table mat, rolled metal sheets, and pieces of pottery come together in this monument to motherhood."

Woman with Stroller, Bronze, 1950. "After seeing his lover Françoise Gilot push their son, Claude, in a carriage, Picasso began to construct this sculpture.  A master scavenger, he assembled it out of found materials before casting a bronze version.  Cake molds, stove plates, a table mat, rolled metal sheets, and pieces of pottery come together in this monument to motherhood."

 There was a long wall that featured a timeline of Picasso's life, showing significant events.  This is one of a number of photographs taken of the the whole thing.  It was useful to me to see how both his personal and artistic life evolved.

There was a long wall that featured a timeline of Picasso's life, showing significant events.  This is one of a number of photographs taken of the the whole thing.  It was useful to me to see how both his personal and artistic life evolved.

   The Rehearsal  , Lithograph, 1954. "Picasso never completely abandoned classic European subjects.  Here, he referenced several Greek mythological characters, all of whom play a role in this production.  At the left a bearded satyr-like male figure strikes a tambourine, while his wild-haired female counterpart performs a masquerade.  The naked pair dance upon a stage as a young girl and grandmother look up from the surrounding darkness.  At the right, the Three Graces look on serenely.  Behind them, a male figure wearing a shepherd's hat plays a hornpipe.  His striped shirt almost certainly identifies him a Picasso, who presides over the assembly."

The Rehearsal, Lithograph, 1954. "Picasso never completely abandoned classic European subjects.  Here, he referenced several Greek mythological characters, all of whom play a role in this production.  At the left a bearded satyr-like male figure strikes a tambourine, while his wild-haired female counterpart performs a masquerade.  The naked pair dance upon a stage as a young girl and grandmother look up from the surrounding darkness.  At the right, the Three Graces look on serenely.  Behind them, a male figure wearing a shepherd's hat plays a hornpipe.  His striped shirt almost certainly identifies him a Picasso, who presides over the assembly."

   La Toilette,   oil on canvas, 1956.

La Toilette, oil on canvas, 1956.

   Large Reclining Nude,   oil on canvas, 1943.

Large Reclining Nude, oil on canvas, 1943.

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   Man,   oil on canvas, 1971. "Picasso's erotic desires are revealed repeatedly in his later work.  This energetic depiction of a naked body can be considered a self-portrait.  Drawing on his knowledge of ancient Egyptian art, Picasso portrayed himself as a pharaoh with black-outlined eyes and rigidly posed hands and feet."

Man, oil on canvas, 1971. "Picasso's erotic desires are revealed repeatedly in his later work.  This energetic depiction of a naked body can be considered a self-portrait.  Drawing on his knowledge of ancient Egyptian art, Picasso portrayed himself as a pharaoh with black-outlined eyes and rigidly posed hands and feet."

   Panel,   wood with pigment, Nkanu culture.  This was another example in the exhibit which sought to show how other cultures influenced Picasso.  "This panel shows a couple whose arms are entwined, yet they look in opposite directions.  Displayed in a restricted area, the young people who saw it learned about proper sexual behavior.  Although Picasso also depicted couples embracing, his works, in contrast, often have vivid and erotic intensity."

Panel, wood with pigment, Nkanu culture.  This was another example in the exhibit which sought to show how other cultures influenced Picasso.  "This panel shows a couple whose arms are entwined, yet they look in opposite directions.  Displayed in a restricted area, the young people who saw it learned about proper sexual behavior.  Although Picasso also depicted couples embracing, his works, in contrast, often have vivid and erotic intensity."

   Reclining Nude,   oil on canvass, 1967.  "In Picasso's later years, he painted with astonishing freedom, abandoning traditional compositions and forms.  About this painting, Picasso's granddaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso, said, 'Right now, it's my favorite of all his works.  The scale is just overwhelming, and you don't really know if it's a man or woman . . . The presence is so strong that it just makes me feel like Picasso's still alive.'"

Reclining Nude, oil on canvass, 1967.  "In Picasso's later years, he painted with astonishing freedom, abandoning traditional compositions and forms.  About this painting, Picasso's granddaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso, said, 'Right now, it's my favorite of all his works.  The scale is just overwhelming, and you don't really know if it's a man or woman . . . The presence is so strong that it just makes me feel like Picasso's still alive.'"

   The Painter and His Model,   oil on canvas, 1967.

The Painter and His Model, oil on canvas, 1967.

   The Kiss  , oil on canvas, 1969.  "Locked together, two heads are joined by a single line that swirls around the entire canvas.  Out of two people, Picasso made one figure, reinforcing the intimate fusion that takes place in and ardent kiss.  He did not hesitate to reshape the faces to fit closely together, and he gave enough details to suggest this depicts the artist and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque.  Even in their tender embrace, both have their eyes wide open, as if sharing a revelation."

The Kiss, oil on canvas, 1969.  "Locked together, two heads are joined by a single line that swirls around the entire canvas.  Out of two people, Picasso made one figure, reinforcing the intimate fusion that takes place in and ardent kiss.  He did not hesitate to reshape the faces to fit closely together, and he gave enough details to suggest this depicts the artist and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque.  Even in their tender embrace, both have their eyes wide open, as if sharing a revelation."

 Bullfighter, Oil on canvas, 1970. "Picasso's father took him to see his first bullfight in 1889, when he was eight years old. The spectacle made a deep impression on him, and he made it the subject of his very first painting that year.  In 1934, he took up the bullfight as a theme, using it as a metaphor for life and death.  Here, Picasso painted himself as a bullfighter with his usual passion for color and feverish strokes.  Nearing 8]90, however, his stare has a tinge of world weariness."

Bullfighter, Oil on canvas, 1970. "Picasso's father took him to see his first bullfight in 1889, when he was eight years old. The spectacle made a deep impression on him, and he made it the subject of his very first painting that year.  In 1934, he took up the bullfight as a theme, using it as a metaphor for life and death.  Here, Picasso painted himself as a bullfighter with his usual passion for color and feverish strokes.  Nearing 8]90, however, his stare has a tinge of world weariness."

 "Kansas City-born photojournalist David Douglas Duncan had a deep friendship with Picasso.  Duncan met Picasso in 1956 and was immediately welcomed into the artist's home.  The intimacy of their friendship is indicated by Duncan's very first photograph of Picasso - soaking in his bathtub! Until the artist's death in 1973, Duncan returned often to visit, creating an unparalleled visual record of the artist at work and at play."

"Kansas City-born photojournalist David Douglas Duncan had a deep friendship with Picasso.  Duncan met Picasso in 1956 and was immediately welcomed into the artist's home.  The intimacy of their friendship is indicated by Duncan's very first photograph of Picasso - soaking in his bathtub! Until the artist's death in 1973, Duncan returned often to visit, creating an unparalleled visual record of the artist at work and at play."

 This is one of my favorite photographs in the exhibit.  After Jacqueline gave up trying to teach Picasso a ballet routine, the moment she sat down he twirls away in his own routine, stomping and whirling, a combination of square dance and dervish.  1957

This is one of my favorite photographs in the exhibit.  After Jacqueline gave up trying to teach Picasso a ballet routine, the moment she sat down he twirls away in his own routine, stomping and whirling, a combination of square dance and dervish.  1957