Friday, July 23, 2010

Picasso, Degas, and Juan Munoz

July 23

Andy, Ann, David and I went to the Sterling Clark Museum today, in heavy rain!, and saw the "Picasso Looks at Degas" exhibit, much of which was excellent-- "beautifully curated," as I overheard someone say. Fascinating stuff: P when first in Paris had a studio near D, admired, but never met, apparently. D. the same age as P's father, P. collected a photo of D. and made it look very much like an early portrait P. did of his father. Degas's late whorehouse monotypes directly used by Picasso in a series of strange, ugly, disconcerting very busy images of whorehouses with Degas himself as voyeur. P's paintings done in reponse to Dega's bronze Little Dancer (one like an outtake from the Demoiselle d'Avignon, one a vaudeville dwarf done up in dancing clothes). All wonderful-- but as so often, I am drawn to what I am less "supposed" to admire, and this time it was their other big exhibit, Juan Munoz's sculptures which are in resin and bronze, a giant train wreck, fifty gray guys about four foot tall with the same smiling Asian face in groups and singly. A whole room of them. No feet-- pant legs columns. Some found sculptures: a banister rail with a knife attached. A group I liked even more-- bronze figures with round bottoms like a cross between balloon skirts and one of those punching bag clowns from my childhood. Wonderful stuff. Beautiful rain on Berkshire Hills.