The artists who first glimpsed Picasso’s cardboard Guitar around 1912 marveled—and sometimes scoffed—at its fragility and seeming impermanence, but almost 100 years later its continued survival, while miraculous, is not its only notable quality. What do artists, in 2011, standing in front of the cardboard Guitar and its sheet-metal counterpart have to say? With this question in mind, curator Anne Umland and I asked a diverse group to visit Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914 and share their impressions.
Posts tagged ‘Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914’
Reading the “I went to MoMA and…” notecards, we’ve started to notice the guitars… a lot of guitars. People draw guitars of all shapes and sizes; realistic guitars, Cubist guitars, abstract guitars; guitars by kids, guitars by grownups, guitars by people from many different countries. The inspiration, of course, for this outpouring of guitar drawings is our current exhibition Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914.
No matter one’s specialization, there are certain questions that all art conservators are asked, including:
Aren’t you scared to do what you do? The answer to this question is sort of a bluff: Our training and experience greatly inform our decision-making about conservation interventions, which are preceded by extensive testing. Nonetheless, some treatments are still a little scary.
“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.
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