"Woman in the Garden, Paris", 1929-30
Welded and painted iron
As is typical of Picasso's paintings, his sculptures passed through many periods and there were often long gaps between works. This exhibition brings together over 100 sculptures and is divided into eleven galleries each devoted to a specific time in his career allowing the visitor to easily follow the evolution of his expression. One exceptional installation is a group of six different "Glass of Absinthe" sculptures like the one shown below. Created in 1914, these works are made of painted bronze, each with an absinthe spoon, in the Cubist style.
Fifteen years later, in the Boisgeloup Sculpture Studio, Picasso's works became more massive and abstract like the plaster "Bust of a Woman", 1931, seen below.
Moving upstairs we come to an exhibition of another Spanish artist, albeit a South American one. "Joaquin Torres-Garcia: The Arcadian Modern" is a complete survey of the work of this Modernist painter and illustrator who is not so well known here in the United States but was an important contributor to various avant-garde movements in the early 20th century.
"Estructura en color", 1930
Torres-Garcia (1874-1949) eventually returned to his native Uruguay and continued to experiment with abstract forms. Though his work is unquestionably modern, it holds a certain reverence for the past thereby earning him the moniker an "Arcadian Modern".
Finally, we move back downstairs to the second floor where a small but impressive exhibition is dedicated to the master of abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock. Culled entirely from MoMA's own holdings, "Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey" tracks the development of Pollock's signature "drip" paintings from 1934-1954.
Beginning with rarely seen silk screen prints and pen and ink drawings, and continuing with early oils like "The Flame" 1934-38 (above) we see a clear trajectory from a traditional painting, i.e. strokes applied with a brush, to the revolutionary method he is so famous for today.
"Number 1A, 1948", 1948
It is a testament to the vast holdings of New York's Museum of Modern Art that they can put together a retrospective of this importance without a single outside loan! And it is one of the great joys of living in a city like this where one can visit three major exhibitions under one roof on a quiet Thursday afternoon!