A week ago I was determined to visit the Manet exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Quite simple isn't it? Get the train, change a few metro lines and a few good hours later you are there. But sometimes things have a mind of their own. The metro lines were a complete mess and rather then wasting time on a longer route we decided to walk along the Thames and maybe visit some other art galleries. When The Courtauld Gallery came in front of us and we could see from the distance the words "Becoming Picasso" I felt like clapping my hands, full of excitement.
It was clearly meant to be especially because a few days ago I came across a few books featuring Picasso in one of my favourite second hand bookshops in Eastbourne and bought them on the spot!
The queue formed in front of the entrance worried me a bit (it smelled like a few good hours of queuing) but we soon realised that the queue was for a special Valentino exhibition and the famous "London fashion week" event. By the way, it was so exciting seeing so many young and trendy people, so fashionably !!!!!! dressed.
The exhibition "Becoming Picasso" started on February 14th and it can be visited until May, 26th 2013 at the Courtauld Gallery, which is open daily from 10.00 - 18.00.
In 1901 Picasso was only 19 and the exhibition in Paris organised by the influential dealer Ambroise Vollard was going to launch his career and start his journey to stardom!
I have never seen his self portraits from that time and was mesmerised by the facial expressions, the piercing eyes...the sadness, the maturity!
But by far my favourite pieces are the ones you will see below: The Harlequin and his Companion, Seated Harlequin and the Child with a Dove. Of course one has seen "Child with a Dove" in lots of magazines, books and of course on line but seeing it right there, in front of you, only a step away, is something else. The purity of expression, the tenderness of the gestures ....all of these feelings stay with you for hours and hours. Simple and yet, so powerful!
The end of 1901 was the beginning of a new era in Picasso's paintings .. the famous blue period when he used the colour that he referred to as the "colour of all colours".
The harlequins, part of the blue period.... I just loved them ...are they daydreaming, are they a bit tipsy, are they just sad, or bored? Who knows? I think that any interpretation is OK! It's wonderful when paintings fire our imagination, helping you tell your own stories, process your own emotions.
So, if you are in London, do visit this exhibition. You will not regret it! Plus, you have access to the other collection exhibition dedicated to the impressionist and post impressionist artists ... but about this in another blog entry!
For more information check www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery