Posts tagged ‘Pablo Picasso’
January 14, 2011  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: This One Goes to 11

“I went to my friend’s house one day, and he had an electric guitar he had just bought with a tiny little amp. I turned the volume up to 10 and I hit one chord, and I said, I’m in love.” – Ace Frehly (Kiss)

“The most important part of my religion is to play guitar.” – Lou Reed

Despite several abortive attempts over the years, I never learned to play the guitar. At every turn I’ve been thwarted by laziness, a lack of dedication, and a set of 10 thumbs. This has made finding work in my chosen vocation—globe-trotting rock megastar—rather difficult.

April 2, 2010  |  Tech
Prints and the Web—Introducing Picasso: Themes and Variations
Picasso Prints

Screenshot of the Picasso: Themes and Variations website

When you think about printmaking, the Web may not be the first thing that comes to mind. You may envision instead old etching presses, or heavy lithographic stones, or stacks of paper waiting to hit the press. But in fact, MoMA’s Prints Department has long been interested in using the Web as a way of sharing information: using animated, interactive multimedia components as a way to make the material come alive. Our online projects are all available on, from our earliest experiments all the way back in 1998 with Miró’s Black and Red Series

March 1, 2010  |  Events & Programs
The Masks We Wear: Identity, Art, and AIDS

Photo: Aaron Wojack

When I took over the Community Outreach Coordinator position three years ago, Housing Works was the first organization that I reached out to and brought in as a new Community Partner. The largest community-based AIDS organization in the United States, for the past 20 years they have tackled the twin crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness, offering housing, medical and mental health care, meals, job training, drug treatment, HIV prevention education, and social support to over 20,000 New York City residents.

February 11, 2010  |  Artists
Portrait in Seven Shades: Chagall


“When Matisse dies,” Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” The work of this pioneer of modernism and master of color is the inspiration for “Chagall,” the sixth movement of Portrait in Seven Shades, a suite of music based on seven artists in MoMA’s collection. This piece is inspired by two of Chagall’s iconic works—I and the Village (1911) and Calvary (1912)—and by costume designs and renderings Chagall created for the character of Zemphira, a gypsy from the ballet Aleko.

February 9, 2010  |  Artists
Portrait in Seven Shades: Picasso


When Wynton Marsalis, the Music Director at Jazz at Lincoln Center, asked me to compose a long-form piece that could take any direction as long as it had a theme, it didn’t take me long to come up with a truly inspiring concept: music based on art. In Portrait in Seven Shades, each movement is dedicated to a different painter, and while it was hard to narrow my selection down to only seven artists, there were a few choices that were obvious to me—one of them being Picasso.

January 18, 2010  |  Events & Programs
Behind the Frame: Picasso, Barack, and Me

Pablo Picasso. Vallauris Exposition 1955 (1955 Exposition de Vallauris). 1955. Linoleum cut, 26 x 21 1/8" (66 x 53.7 cm), sheet: 35 1/4 x 23 3/8" (89.5 x 59.4 cm). Printer: Arnéra. Publisher: Arnéra. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kramer Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kramer. © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A few months back I was perusing The New York Times when I was stopped in my tracks by a picture of Barack Obama in his office at the University of Chicago. Being a former Second City citizen, I immediately felt a sense of kinship of place, but I was even more astonished to see hanging in his office the exact same Picasso print—a black and white devil-like image, a poster for 1955 Exposition de Vallauris—that  hangs on the wall of my living room. I always look around people’s homes and offices for signs of who they are and what choices they make, but when I saw that Picasso work, I knew that Barack and I clearly had affinities! Not everyone makes the same choices or likes the same things—but we chose the same image to look at day in and day out. What did that say about us?

I had bought that print, probably not a “real” print, when I was seventeen years old. Pablo Picasso was perhaps my first real love. Growing up in Niagara Falls, Canada, where there is a wax museum literally on every corner (no wonder I ended up in this line of work!), I first met Picasso at the public library. The art section of the Dewey Decimal system was like my private zip code. I remember finding book about Picasso and Gertrude Stein and falling into a deep, deep swoon. I imagined myself living the salon life, with every conversation, morsel of food, or flirtation the catalyst for a painting or poem. My paintings, made late in the night, the only time an artist can work (teen or not), were inflected with Picasso’s lines, colors, and passions. Picasso sustained me through my teenage years. However, as I was indoctrinated into the art world of the mid-1970s during art school, I quickly came to realize that not only was my Picasso-influenced work not cool, but that he didn’t wear very well. I secretly pined in front of Guernica for my lost love during the obligatory visit to MoMA with my fellow students and professors.

December 10, 2009  |  Artists
Picasso on Rembrandt

Pablo Picasso. After Rembrandt: Ecce Homo. 1970, published 1978.

Pablo Picasso. After Rembrandt: Ecce Homo. 1970, published 1978. Etching and aquatint. The Museum of Modern Art. The Edgar Wachenheim III Fund, 2009. © 2009 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

There are lots of reasons why a work might be acquired for MoMA’s collection. Sometimes, the intense preparations for an upcoming exhibition provide a great opportunity to step back, take a careful look at what we already have, and see if there are gaps that need to be filled in our holdings of an artist’s work. This was recently the case as we researched an upcoming exhibition that, along with an accompanying catalogue and website, will explore Pablo Picasso’s creative process through the lens of printmaking. We took a close look at MoMA’s Picasso prints by theme, by technique, and by chronology, and discovered that we didn’t have a strong enough representation of Picasso’s late period (from about 1965 to his death in 1973), which has often been overlooked and underappreciated.