Monday, May 03, 2010

From Cubicle to Cubism

The only thing motivating me this week was to step out of my Dilbert-esque cubicle world and step into Picasso's world of Avant Garde art in Paris. I love the cafe scenes that set the stage for paintings, and the complicated and intriguing people who sneak themselves into them. After all, there must have been something that inspired the painter to do this.
The Philadelphia Art Museum actually just raided their own vaults to do the exhibition. Nice move in this economy to bring people to the museum. The best part of this exhibit was the audio tour. It's great to have someone take the time to explain each piece and what the overall direction of cubism says.

I was particularly intrigued by the other artists like Juan Gris and George Braque. It's as if they took the idea and just ran with it. I loved Juan Gris' The Table. This image doesn't do it justice because it's a collage with chaulk shadows around key areas.

I have to acknowledge that my introduction to the great artistic masters of the world was due to the Hoechst Corporation. My father was on a mailing list for their art calendars, which had gorgeous paintings. I collected these for a number of years and always looked forward to the arrival of these calendars. I still have a number of them in my basement, always hoping to frame a few or ate least use it as an art history collection. Anyway, there was a great cubist painting, and every time someone walked into my room and glanced upon the painting, they would say "Oh, Picasso!" However, I'd look closer and say, ", George Braque." Not sure who that is. Figured he was a Picasso knockoff.

After this exhibit, I have a better understanding of how George and Pablo were closely influenced by each other. Another intriguing concept of cubism is to show all perspectives at one. You're not looking at a face straight on, but looking at the face from multiple perspectives.
Another favorite of mine was a Marcel DuChamp's "Nude Descending the Staircase". Apparently this was a controversial painting since nudes generally "reclined" and having one descend made it impossible to "find" the nude. I loved the movement of this painting.

Art has inspired some of my poems. So, I was definitely captivated by the concept of multiple perspectives and made a note to myself to play with "cubist" poetry. Unfortunately, this was not a novel idea. Apparently, Senor Picasso already did this. Nevertheless, I will try my hand at it and will hopefully cause readers to til their heads and say "Where is the guitar?"

1 comment:

J.Doe said...

While I can't exactly say that I enjoyed the artwork in this post I am glad that you got away from the daily grind for a short while and enjoyed yourself.