There is little doubt that the twentieth centuries biggest name in art is Picasso. Wether Picasso is your favourite or not Picasso was consistently at the forefront of western art. A key figure who is still influencing artists today.
My Niece went with her family to see Picasso at the NGV. She was not impressed. I am not surprised. Picasso especially his later works are Art, but not as you know it. Derision is often a response to those who only see Picasso’s later works.
Responses such as “My kid could do that”. Or the repeated “I could do that.” is pretty normal. My Niece’s response was perplexity and revulsion. So by the time she got to ‘Woman Urinating’ that was it. She had enough and wanted it to be all over.
Picasso was a womaniser. It is not a hidden subject. Of all of the women in his life perhaps only Dora Marr got the better of him. Dora Marr’s work is part of the NGV’s exhibition along with other contemporaries of Picasso. This is Picasso in historical context to the times he lived in represented through his fellow artists.
You will find that in this context Picasso is always Picasso. Sometimes he is a collaborator, sometimes the trailblazer, often the antagonist. Brash, arrogant, abrupt, in your face in a way that is always difficult to ignore. Picasso will test you, have no doubt.
If you are thinking of going be prepared to be disturbed. This exhibition speaks of the vision and work of one man from a distinct period. Picasso does not give apologies. Picasso does not appeal to public taste. If they confront you it is up to you to work that confrontation out.
The Picasso Century is on at the National Gallery of Victoria till October 9th 2022. Please search their website www.ngv.vic.gov.au for more details and tickets.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.