Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! Adventures – Picasso at the Seattle Art Museum

By Olivia Pineda, Assistant Editor

Picasso's Portrait

Weeping Woman

Picasso. When you hear the name, what first comes to mind? Maybe you imagine abstract art with strange, colorful shapes swooping across the canvas, or perhaps you picture the man himself, looking out a window, wearing a French marinière sweater. The artist Picasso means many things to many people, but we all can agree that he was one of the best painters of the twentieth century, as well as throughout history. It is rare to be able to see any one of his most famous works in person, but how about seeing an entire collection of a few hundred of his best paintings in an exhibit? I had the amazing opportunity to be able to see this collection, just twenty minutes away from my house, at the Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. While the Picasso museum in Paris is being renovated, the paintings are currently on tour, with its first stop in my hometown. This collection is quite possibly the crowning glory of the many collections which SAM (the Seattle Art Museum) has ever hosted. It features work from Picasso’s “blue” period, which describes the artist when he was feeling a bit “blue”, or gloomy, after a traumatizing period in his life.

While sadness may make many of us feel uninspired and think of doing anything but work, this period of Picasso’s life, on the contrary, pushed him to create some of his best paintings. The first major image is a rather simple concept: an older woman, painted against a blue background, with one eye clouded due to cataracts. However, the expression on her face, and the way in which it was composed, make for a complex, moving picture. Moving on from here, we see Picasso’s work become more abstract; he uses cubes, spheres, and other 3-D objects to create a person’s body, and many other paintings which, without the caption, would be unrecognizable. Interspersed between these abstract works are more realist paintings, many of which look like they are photos themselves.

In the middle of the exhibit, we get to learn a bit more about Picasso’s life through pictures taken of him and his family. We are able to see how a painting goes from a few pencil strokes on canvas to a full-fledged piece of art, and Picasso’s numerous family members. Towards the end, we see Picasso work with another medium: sculpture. I appreciated how he incorporated his style of painting into his sculptures, and how it was truly Picasso’s voice throughout.

I came away from the exhibit with a deeper appreciation for Picasso’s work. While I prefer photography to painting, the collection gave me a better understanding of the amount of love, thought, and work which goes into a painting, something that is sometimes hard to tell from a photograph. While this exhibit would be perfect for Picasso enthusiasts, this would also be also a good place to go for people who are curious, and who don’t know much about Picasso. Anyone, art buff or not, will truly enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

More information about the Exhibit:
The collection will be at the Seattle Art Museum until January 17, 2011. It will then head to the east coast and be shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from February 19th to May 15, 2011. Its final stop will be at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from June 11th to September 25, 2011.

To learn more about the art’s stop in Seattle, please visit www.picassoinseattle.org.