I was lucky enough to get to the UMFA a few years back to see their show “Monet to Picasso”. There were some very nice pieces, but I especially liked the work they had by Cezanne, a piece by Juan Gris, and a Max Ernst. But what really stood out the most for me was Pablo Picasso‘s incredible La Vie. I didn’t expect to see it at all, and to tell you the truth, when I entered and saw it across the room I had to sneak away and leave for a bit and then come back in. It kinda freaked me out seeing that painting there. I imagine the only thing that might have surprised me more was maybe Les Demoiselles, or Guernica, and maybe a couple others.
La Vie is a good representation of Picasso’s Blue Period, which started after his friend Carlos Casagemas committed suicide in 1901. Carlos and Pablo were very close, and Carlos’ very public and very violent suicide left Picasso depressed and feeling guilt. Not that he was responsible in any way, but I imagine its normal to take that on. It didn’t take long for the color blue to overwhelm Picasso’s work, and the subject of his work changed primarily to the poor and downtrodden. Just looking at these pictures, you can tell it is a very sad time in Picasso’s life.
I came across a reproduction of La Vie recently, and I guess that is what has me thinking about it. That and Anna’s last post. Plus, I could look at Picasso’s work all damn day and never get tired of it. I hope to see the painting again, maybe I’ll bump into it somewhere soon and be surprised all over again.