Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hurry: Waning Days “Picasso: Painting the Blue Period” at Phillips Collection


If you have been dawdling about whether to see “Picasso: Painting the Blue Period” at Washington, DC’s Phillips Collection, the Dresser urges you to book your ticket now before the exhibition closes June 12, 2022.


Here are several reasons you might want to see this show.


—It is well curated. There is just enough text to give you the information needed to understand this period  of Picasso’s work. There is also enough breathing space between the Blue Period paintings so that you can get close to the work without other visitors to the museum getting in your way. There is also an audio guide you can access by QR code. Be sure to bring your headset if you prefer this method.


—Three of the paintings were done on top of another painting, including the well known The Blue Room (1901) oil on canvas which is owned by the Phillips Collection. Exhibition videos and photos show you what is underneath these three paintings and the process used in the discoveries.


—Influences on Picasso during this period are shown with his work leading up to the Blue Period and what followed (Rose Period work) as well as works from other well-known artists like Toulouse Lautrec, Matisse, Rodin, Daumier.


While Picasso was an agile and engaging portrait painter (you can see his ability in this area of his craft in the early works), his Blue Period work demonstrates his interest in masks and facial abstraction. Themes of the Blue Period include down and out people such as prostitutes, prisoners, and those suffering from poverty. The blue color was a manifestation of such living difficulties and deprivation. One painting, “The Dead Woman” and its accompanying text made the Dresser think what will happen to women in the United States if Roe vs Wade is overturned.

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