Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  July 20, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am PST

12:00 am
>> rose: in his 91 years, pablo picasso was one of our most acclaimed and prolific artists. his works hang in museums and private homes all over the world. tonight, picasso at the metropolitan museum of art. >> what makes him such a compelling figure is that he can make such strong images which on the one hand are just stories, he's a great storyteller, even with very economical means. and on the other hand, he led a fascinating life. and so much of his art is aught biographical. humans are intensely interested and he had a very rich, fascinating, sometimes unattractive life. and we know so much about him that every single work seems to tell us something else about one man's life, one man's journey. >> rose: the curator of the
12:01 am
met joins me for a conversation about the man and the art. next. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: it was once said the object of art is to give life a shape. pablo picasso's art shaped his life while his life shaped his
12:02 am
art. he is considered the preeminent artist of the 20th century. throughout his 91 years, picasso expressed himself in many forms of art. he had many lovers and he had many friends. he had children who loved him and women more who died for him and women who stood up to him and along the way he produced thousands of pieces of work that hang all over the world in private homes and in great art institutions. one of them is the metropolitan museum of art here in new york city. it was in 1946 that the great museum and the great artist first met. in that year, gertrude stein bequeath it had portrait picasso painted of her in 1906. over the next 60 years, the museum has come to acquire the second-largest picasso holdings in the united states. the exhibition picasso and the metropolitan museum of art is devoted exclusively to the works by key casso in its permanent collection. it comprises 300 works,
12:03 am
including 34 paintings, 58 drawings, a dozen sculptures and ceramics and an an extensive selection of print. the art work shown spans picasso's long career from the harlequins of his youth to the phufbgteers of his final years. i recently went to the museum and spoke to the curator of the picasso exhibition, his name is gary tinterow, he is the inge -l heart chairman of the met's department of 19th century modern and contemporary art and here is our conversation. thank you for allowing us to come to the metropolitan museum. >> thank you for coming in. >> rose: interesting, here you have having a picasso exhibition of your own collection. explain this endless, endless curiosity, fascination, appreciation of picasso. >> well, it's... he's inexhaustible and the phenomenon is exhausting, right? one could think that there's complete surplus overload, we know much too much about this
12:04 am
man. we can date works with precision to the afternoon, the morning, a saturday, a sunday, we know what he had for lunch, what he's going to have for dinner. >> rose: (laughs). >> which dog is at his feet. which print maker is at his side. and yet there's this extraordinary richness to his art. i think what makes him such a compelling fig injury that he can make such strong images which on the one hand suggest stories. he's a great storyteller, even with very economical means and on the other hand he led a fascinating life. and so much of his art is autobiographical. humans are intensely interested in other human beings and he had a very rich, fascinating, sometimes unattractive life. and we know so much about him that every single work seems to tell us something else about one man's life, one man's journey through this world. >> rose: and he was open to every experience, impression,
12:05 am
every woman he knew, everything. >> rose: yes, i mean, he was a good catholic boy. he had a very devout mother. he had a very proper father who was an academic artist. at the same time he was rebellious and open to almost any kind of experience. we know heused drugs, he certainly had a lot of sex of every single sort it seems. at the same time, he's very rooted in european culture. he's very much a man of his time and throughout his life we see him responding to every kind of political and economic event, whether it's the first world war, the second world war, fascism, communism, which he was an important part of the communist party in france. we see him engaging with the real world in realtime constantly yet he had this extraordinary imagination and as he said at the end of his life, he was in dialogue with the old masters, rembrandt, vessel has kez, rubins, he thought he was
12:06 am
talking to them and they were talking back to him through his art. >> rose: how do you explain that kind of talent? >> oh, i think we can't. i think we'd go on for hours, charlie, trying to understand what drives him. obviously success breeds success. he was given the means, the economic means, the resources, very talented... >> rose: and started early. >> started very early. of course, the only son of a painter so as a child he learned the rudiments of drawing, composition, how to make an image compelling, all that he had by the time he was 11 or 12 years old. >> rose: how did this exhibition come about? >> we organized this exhibition to show to ourselves and to our community what we have by picasso here. it became clear to my predecessor at the end of the 1990s after a number of very important gifts and bequests by mark schoenbrunn, 1995, in '97,
12:07 am
jacques and natasha gel man in 1998 when almost 30 works by picasso came in in those three years to the collection, then finally we had something not just to crow about but to demonstrate his remarkable contribution to 20th century art. and people ask me often why did we organize this show chronologically, there's so many other ways to place these 300 works, it's a great deck of cards that you can shuffle thematically, subject, by mistress, there's so many different ways we can categorized it. we placed it chronologically because we could. because we understand that finally here is the met. we can tell a tory about picasso's career from the very beginning. from when efs 18 years old in bars low that to the very end of his life, 1968 he's 87 years old we can tell a story about his career and his life that we couldn't tell just ten years ago >> rose: the first great
12:08 am
bequest was from gertrude stein's will. >> yes. she left us her portrait, her iconic portrait. she wrote her will in' 46, she died the next year. the first painting by picasso, we acquired prints in the 1920s. there had been works shown here in 1921 but the curator wasn't interested in picasso's work and we became notoriously resistant in the 20s to avant-garde modernism. but because of that resistance ... >> rose: why was there resistance? >> actually, it can be traced to one curator, bryson boroughs, himself a painter from cincinnati, ohio, had been hired by roger frye to be his assistance. frye couldn't stand it here, he locked horns with j. pierpont morgan which was not the right thing to do and morgan was morgan and at the height of his career he was the most important trustee here and frye dared to contradict him.
12:09 am
so frye was out, borough -z was left. he studyied in france. he revered... what he liked about picasso was his sweet neo-class schism but he despised his cubism and people like alfred stieglitz or lily bliss or john quinn, these great titans of modernest collecting here in america were very frustrated by borough's resistance. >> rose: because they wanted to give things to the best museum in the world? the best museum in america, certainly. >> in those days there were few rivals. the boston museum was very important at that time. chicago was becoming important. >> rose: and the museum was not interested in what they were interested in? >> no. and that pressure continues today. trustees and art patrons are passionate about what they do and they want to see their institution which is they support, their shows same interests, all that is just
12:10 am
fine. and they were petitions here to show modernist french paintings in the 1920s. but that resistance gave birth to the whitney museum and the museum of modern art. so two very important and great things happened as a result of that. so it was jump later when we began to keep up with the bequest of gertrude tyne. but many of the subsequent works who came here came here as a result of gertrude and leo near the hrubgs. pwaourg gardens because every american artist and 1914 between 1904 and' 14 stopped by on saturday night to see the stein's collection of matisse and picasso. they had nearly 180 works by both artists cramed into this little studio. and that's where they discovered the two great titans of 20th century french paintings. >> rose: at least 27 of the works here came from some kind of association, either ballard or... >> rose: >> or stein.
12:11 am
and in fact, bell lard though he had had a show for picasso in 1901, he didn't acquire anything himself from that show. and it was only at leo stein's urging in spring of 1906 he went to picasso, bought 27 paintings and that gave picasso for the first time financial security which continued to the first world war. >> what's interesting is gertrude stein did not like moma. >> no. he seemingly didn't like alfred barr. >> rose: who was the great figure at moma. >> right. evidently she said to alfred barr "you can be a museum or you can be modern but you can't be both" that's one of those aphorisms that she loved to say. >> rose: this is all work that's in the met collection. all work given to the met or purchased by the met. and every critic talks about how great it is in terms of the early picasso. and how disappointing it is that
12:12 am
you don't have any cubist paintings here. >> well, we have... >> rose: to speak of. >> right. >> rose: what do you say to that? >> i say come have a look at our cubist room here. we have 18 extraordinary cubist drawings to which do buy them on the market they're unobtainable. these were shown in new york in 1911 and 1915 in pristine condition. we can show every development of cubism on paper in full sheets that were very important works for picasso. we have two very fine early cubist paintings and one great high synthetic cubist masterpiece. so, yes, there's work to be done. we hope we can show our donors and collectors in new york we're interested in picasso. here's what we have and here's what we don't have. and time will tell. we understand here at the museum that there's about a 50-year lag
12:13 am
between collecting and development of art here and in new york and it's final acquisition by the met. if you look at abstract expressionism 50 years later we have an extraordinary collection of poll pollock, newman which we didn't have 20 years ago, 30 years ago but which finally arrived. >> rose: when you look at him, he was a prodigious worker. >> nonstop. >> rose: nonstop. >> everyday. >> rose: i mean, it's said he would have wonderful dinners and then would go back to his studio and paint. and get up sometimes in the morning and paint over what he had painted. >> i think it was always the new invention. always what was coming next that most excited him. that's what kept him alive. there was, as many biographers especially john richardson said, he was, you know, primordially afraid of dying. he had to beat death back at the
12:14 am
door one man spoke two weeks ago about how he was depressed every morning. he had existential angst when he woke up. why am i here? what am i doing here? what is the point of life? this is at 10:00 by. the time he had breakfast at noon, he had developed something to fight against and then he had to be right and then by the end of the afternoon, he was on top of the world. >> rose: that's great! so. >> so he had to go through this process on this daily basis. >> rose: what new things has mowning this exhibition told you? >> i learned a lot. we were 15 curators and conservators working on this project and that was very satisfying to edit the catalog where so many great minds were able to focus in on these works. we used new technologies, infrom tpra * red, x-ray to study the
12:15 am
works. we discovered that early on... i would say most important that his financial situation was kreut tkaol the creation of his art and so for example when he was young and literally desperate for money he used canvases, especially large ones, like black boards. he'd make a painting, he wouldn't erase it... >> rose: that's my point. >> he would paint another one on top. so one of our pictures has three full pictures and the beginnings of three other pictures underneath the final painting. many of the early works... we discovered works that has been lost, that people were looking for that were vizzable in other works of art in the corner of his studio. we didn't know where they are and now we know. they're underneath some of our pictures. another aspect of his art that i understood only for the first time as i walked through the show after it was hung was how conventional his corn seugsal
12:16 am
strategy was. that surprised me. >> rose: what does compositional strategy mean in. >> that when often, especially with figurative works, picasso had an idea he wanted to make it work about a single woman, two women, three women together. he would start in the middle of his canvass, whatever he was working on and he would put the head just above the center of the composition and he would start to from there and make marks and echo those marks and frame them and introduce other figures and make his composition. but basically it's as if he had the hair of a gun sight and he would start in the center as if he understood that he... that's where our eyes go. we go to the center. and he tells us what's important, what's on his mind and what this picture is about. and i think that clarity is essential to the appeal of his
12:17 am
art. and the enduring popularity and compelling nature of it. >> rose: of all the women in his life, who did he love the most. >> how could we ever know? we can't know. but we can only look at the extraordinary evidence, the thousands of works of art. >> rose: what do they tell us? >> i think one thing... >> rose: they tell us how he got angry and began to reject each of them and you could see in the his paintings. that's one thing it told us. >> rose: he could be ferocious and sometimes i wouldn't about, for example, his first wife olga khokhlova. what did she think when she walked into the studio and saw herself as a pinheaded monster? did she recognize herself in that? or, you know, as this extraordinary man-eating venus fly trap that one picture here in the exhibition shows her as.
12:18 am
when he made these beautiful neoclassical heads. she thought they were all her and she posed herself demurefully a photograph against these great heads, some of which may represent the american woman who he seemed to have been in love with, sara murphy. >> rose: who was married. >> precisely. but i think the lover and mother of his child maya whom he was most tender toward in his art, he never was violent toward her in his art. she's always integrated. she's always a whole. he never rips her apart. he doesn't put her eyes looking in opposite direction. he doesn't take her nose and stick writ her ear should be as he would with dora marr at the same time. he loved dora mar and she was a beautiful woman. you would see he would paint dora mar and mary on the same day. there was always a tenderness toward mary which he never
12:19 am
abandoned even as he abandoned her. >> rose: so sum up for me this fascinating man whose 300 works are represented here. what you hope people who come here will walk away with. >> i think there's so many different strains that one could pick up in this exhibition. first it's his career, his achievements, this stylistic diversity. then there's his work in different media which can be different and discreet. he transformed a lowly poster making medium into something very creative and exciting. it's interesting to me that i was a graduate student in the '70s this work was derided as being sort of commercial, souvenirs for tourists and yet
12:20 am
the public response to this room, the color, the size of these prints is extraordinary. i think time has moved on and just as we look at the interest in mid-century modern furniture, for example, i think we can see similar interest in mid-century picasso. >> rose: let me talk about specific paintings. "seated harlequin, 1901." >> it's an extraordinary work that shows how quickly picasso was able to assimilate his visual environment. so he comes to paris in summer 1901, he stays in montmartre which is plastered with works of toulous-lautrec. he seize works of gaugin and cezanne in the back of a gallery and he makes an amalgam of all those artist styles in this singular iconic image that can only be by picasso and yet we can point to absolute almost plagiarized elements from
12:21 am
gaugin, van gogh "the wallpaper" toulous-lautrec "the pose" and yet it's a picasso. most importantly, it's probably the first appearance of the harlequin in picasso's art. which soon would become one of his alter egos. self-identified. >> rose: do you believe that this painting is... as some have suggested is a kind of brooding about the suicide of his friend? >> i think there's some of that there. you know "harlequin" is the lusty nimble acrobat that is constantly stealing the pretty maid, columbine, from pierreo. that's why he's the sad clown. he's always losing his girlfriend to the lusty nimble harlequin. and yet he shows harlequin in his outfit but with the white face of pierro. so he makes a new type for european painting which is the pensive, reflective, melancholy harlequin that didn't exist
12:22 am
before. >> rose: there's this interesting work, "the erotic scene" in 1903. >> picasso himself has denied that painting. when pierre dex, his cataloger and very good friend, showed him a photograph of in the the '60s, pee picasso shook his head and said "it's not by me and by the way i've done worse." in other words, i've made dirtier pictures. so it's not the subject that's the problem. he said it's a bad joke by my spanish friends done when we were all together in paris. so when we were looking at this painting with the conservatories, first we wanted to test it to see if picasso was right. is there anything about this picture that is not like the rest of the picasso and we have a lot of picassos, the paintings of 1902-1903. and there was nothing wrong with it. the canvas, the medium, the oil paints were typical. some of the brush strokes seemed quite characteristic, others not. it's a slap dash painting.
12:23 am
it seems to be unfinished. a trifle. but through the work of one of our researchers here we were able to track backwards how the paintings came to be with scofield theyer in the '20s and from that we learned it belonged to picasso's tailor named soler in bars low that who was a good friend of his from 1899/1900 and it's known picasso would trade pictures and watercolors for a new suit of clothes and it makes perfect sense that he would make this dirty little pick tkhaur would be amusing to his tailor friend and give it to him. and the tailor sold in the 1912 to a bars low that dealer who sold it to a paris dealer. so it has to be right. there's still people, however, who say that it's not, it's a joke, he shows... picasso shows himself in the pose of goya's famous maja at the prado except
12:24 am
as a woman performing a sexual act on him. >> rose: why do you think he denied it? >> some kind of discomfort i think or perhaps he even forgot. whatever, 60 years after the fact. and he could have confused his painting with another work that wasn't by him. >> rose: all right. the "the blind man's meal" 1903. >> there's the painting that at once is a reflection of his material circumstances, his own desperate poverty, the... his own fear of blindness through venn tphaoerl disease because of his own promiscuity and yet this is a painting that could hang in a church over an altar, it's the christian eucharist. it's the body and the blood of christ. so quite extraordinary for toth century painting of religious scene to be so effect
12:25 am
i effective both as a scene of everyday life and a work of great spiritual value. his politics were always on the left, always. even know the 20s he was... his friends teased him, that was... that he was living the high life in this glamorous resorts, his wife was a beautiful russian dancer, gal gal rena, cocteau, living on the tone kpwr *es street in paris, but his sympathies always was with the disenfranchised. >> rose: as reflected in this painting. >> absolutely. >> rose: and his own circumstances when he was a hungry artist. >> yes. >> rose: "the frugal repast." >> one of his great 20th century etchings done with a needle and almost a la prix ma. just was very... just a hint of
12:26 am
outlining and this expression... etching is quite an art. it takes a lot of practice in order to realize a successful etching. you're literally scratch ago copper bleat a needle. you're never really sure what you're doing until it's too late and i think it's a reflection of his masterful technique already at this time and also following on the blind man's meal that particular moment of poverty in his life. >> rose: someone once said i guess that it's remarkable in light of the fact that picasso was mostly taught... >> and self-taught in sculpture as well. he had friends like manolo and gonzalez who taught him rudimentary tricks but i think it's because he wasn't bound by convention in print making and sculpture that, in fact, he was so innovative. that was liberating for him. >> rose: next one is "act t actor" in 1905.
12:27 am
>> that's a pivotal picture, i think, and one of the great strengths of our collection. it shows him leaving the blue period for the rose period. leaving the tattered beggars to this new race of acrobats. typical of his political ideology, he's not interested in the greatest and best paid circus performers and clowns, he looks to these itinerant travelers, these acrobats who may have have a tent or wagon and move from village to village, dusty costumes and perform for donations. you see him leaving the blue period with the attenuation of al greco, these hands. el greco was the touchstone for the blue period, yank was the touchstone for picasso in the rose period. ankh. ang.
12:28 am
although it's painted with a picasso like expressive thety, it's like ang. >> rose: how long did rose period last? >> e seine hr-rbl ayear. ... essentially a year. >> rose: that's what i thought. >> it begins when he moves from bars low that to paris in the spring, things look up, he meets a beautiful woman and there's a calm and peace that rains over his art and we see that in the paintings. >> rose: did this painting? something happened to it (. >> there was an accident where a visitor... >> rose: a viz snore. >> a visitor lost her balance and fell and then hit the painting with her elbow. >> rose: how did they inform you this had happened? >> i was in the building right down stairs. i raced up. another curator arrived first on the scene. the guards quickly emptied the room of visitors. >> rose: (laughs). >> we had technicians with a cart and we raced the patient up to the conservation lab collecting any little flecks of
12:29 am
paint that might have fall on the the floor so that they could be reattached to the canvas. it was a severe blow to the picture and the most important thing is to keep the canvass... you want it to be flat so that you can look at the paint and not be disturbed by irregularity of the surface. they did an amazing job but it took quite some time with weights and moisture to in a sense heal the wound. to allow it to relax so the paintings could be stitched together and it's very much like a wound in skin. there's a scar on the back and it has to be knitted together just like the skin does. >> rose: have you seen steve winn's painting since he repaired it? >> yes, i have. it was shown at aqua vessel have gallery. it's almost visible. >>.
12:30 am
>> rose: stunning what you can do. the next one is... pronounce this for me. >> willapin agile. the lively rabbit. it showed a rabbit jumping out of a skill let. this was the cafe where picasso and his friends would relax in the afternoon and i suspect he painted his paintings in order to settle his bill or in anticipation of running an account there every month. as asher miller wrote, it was the only one on public view in paris from 1905 to 1912. we have a photograph of it deformed on the wall because it wasn't stretched. >> rose: steve martin wrote a play about it. >> he did. and it's actually the first
12:31 am
instance of picasso showing a painting in which he clearly identifies with haar quinn. it's something john richardson has dealt with masterfully because it was... we know it was painted in winter/spring 1905. he was deeply in love with fernando livier and engaged in something that looked... they were a couple. it looked like a marriage and yet for this painting he placed this woman at his side and jermaine, of course, had been the lover of picasso's best friend carlos casagemas who when the love was not reciprocated tried to kill her. committed suicide. she was not harmed and what does picasso do? he moves back to paris, stays in casagemas' apartment and starts sleeping with jermaine. >> every moment there was something happening. the next painting is gertrude stein 1905, 1906.
12:32 am
i think the important lesson there is what an unreliable biographer gertrude stein is. i think leaving her painting to the met was a bid for fame and posser the tae. she wanted her image by a picasso which was her tangible link to the person she considered to be the greatest artist in france, in europe, in the world of the 20th century. she wanted it to be in an important museum. she wrote in her biography later in the 30s that there was more than 90 sittings for this painting and having... we realized that was impossible. picasso worked very quickly. he didn't like having anyone it ising there because his memory was so exact because his capturing a likeness, he was a great caricature was so strong. but the painting was reworked and there are four different faces that we can see, different poses from full profile and up
12:33 am
and down and finally three quarters in view in the final picture. he finished that painting after his summer vacation in spain when a new primitivism was entering his art so he gave her this mask like and stony regard which wasn't there earlier. >> rose: is it true the famous thing she said when she said "it doesn't look like me." and picasso said "oh, yes, it will." >> rose: it will. i'm quite something close to that was said. picasso was right it's an old trope of any portrait painter. in order to get an enduring like ness you have the focus on the skull. painters used to measure the head in order toxd understand where your cheekbones were, where your chin is, what your relationship between these principle features and if you can capture the skull because the face ages, skin sags.
12:34 am
then you have an enduring ikeness. >> rose: self-portrait in 1906 where picasso looks younger than his actual age. >> he had just shaved his head. perhaps for lice or the hraoet, he was in the pyrenees north of bars low that and goes that's where he was touched by a primitive local stone carving tradition and he bought these almond shapes eyes and large noses, mask-like features to himself and the portrait of gertrude stein. our picture which is quite fine immediately proceeds stein at the philadelphia museum that was in their picasso show. i think those two were meant to be together and perhaps he hoped the steins would buy a larger self-portrait. in tend he gave this little one to gertrude and she kept it all of her life.
12:35 am
>> rose: she never sold bit? >> it wasn't sold until, i think, 1967 when the works in her care were finally... so gertrude left... the portrait of gertrude stein to the met and the rest of the collection as it was at that moment because gertrude sold and lived off of her collections, they acquires things from 1904 to 1914 and almost nothing thereafter. they said during the second world war "we're eating the cezanne" because they sold the cezanne and that's what they were living off of. what was left when she died, alice toke las had life interest and her nephew and his heirs inherited the rest of the collection. >> rose: standing nude 1908." >> we have two of these exceptional watercolors from the winder of o 1907/1908 just after
12:36 am
the moment he completed the watershed painting for him at the museum of modern art. a great painting. and here he's working out one of the ideas of this that painting which are these rhythmic arks in flesh color and blue, alternating, trying to make the human figure conform to the imposed formalist decision about these arc-like shapes. so you have the figure emerging as if from clay but what's great as we have two works possibly made on the same day or one day after the next and you see his first idea with pencil shading and a little correction and then you see his second idea in which he's following through and it's marvelous to juxtapose those two on the wall. >> rose: "head of a woman" which sculpture. 1909. >> that's commonly thought to be the first cubist sculpture.
12:37 am
we know it differently because it's a bronze and dark. but for picasso it was a first clay and then a plaster. for him it was light colored and meant to be reflective. for him he was trying to understand how sculpture it could, be it could be almost translucent or transparent. he wanted to penetrate the skin of sculpture which rodin had worked so magnificently in order to get some kind of internal strug which you are which can be viz to believe the viewer. so you see those same ark like forms that we see in the figures of 1907 and 1908. but these deep gouges in which he's trying to penetrate the exterior and set up reflections of light to suggest transparency it was a watershed work for sculptors throughout europe, russia,ñi chex slovakia, spain, england when they saw this work.
12:38 am
it was one of the first works to be diffused in america. whenever anyone would see that, they'd take one home. it was the way picasso's cubism was understood by most of the world. >> rose: how does it compare to his paintings? >> i think his impact was much greater. he was more prolific as a painter but he was much more innovative. using unexpected materials, hanging things on the corner. the russian constructivism comes out of picasso, futurism comes out of picasso. so many important developments of 20th century art which can be pinpointed to picasso's first endeavor. >> rose: in 1910 "the standing female nude." this is. >> this is a great drawing brought by alfred stieglitz from paris to new york. shown in his gal reurbgs all the
12:39 am
artists here look at it puzzled, amazed, begin to work in a similar vein because they're going to patience, seeing what the new developments are. and in 113 it's already... has works by american and europeans that are reflections of this kind of cubism by picasso, this drawing was reshown. so a key work in the history even in the arc of our country america. >> rose: would it say something like a fire escape and not a good one? >> it was derided and if you think of the most sensational paintings and nude descend ago scare case which was called an explosion in a single factory. that nude descending staircases is almost a plagiarism of this drawing by picasso. >> rose: in 1915. >> this is one of the most beautiful of the naturalistic drawings by picasso.
12:40 am
done after a photograph as so many works by picasso were. this is only beginning to understand the impact of photography on picasso. not only was he an avid photographer and that he used that as an aid for picture making but he collected postcards and photographs and so a lot of the so-called negro style of 1907 is coming not just from african art which he was exposed to by matisse but also he collected ethnographic photographs of africans. he used this photographs as the basis. >> rose: a few more. guitar and clarinet on the mantlepiece. >> here's the fascinating work of 1915, a turning point in picasso's career. a woman whom he was living with and very much in love was dying of tuberculosis or cancer throughout the entire year and picasso wrote his friend gertrude stein "my life is hell, i spend the whole time in the
12:41 am
metro going back and forth to the nursing home see my poor ava disintegrate." through that year his pallet changed from a light bright sandy beige and pale blue, the color of your tie to a deep rich maroon and black pallet as his ava's condition worsened throughout the year. and it's interesting that as we examined our painting and did pigment samples we can see how times he changed the pallet of this picture, rechanging the same still life elements in darker and darker colors. >> it was about mood most of all. >> yes. and the great... the final expression of it is the harlequin. they have so many signal masterpieces. there they have a collecting strategy. and the harlequin of 1915 shows harlequin as a sort of haar binger of death.
12:42 am
>> rose: since we've used the word collecting strategy a number of times, does the metropolitan museum of art have a collecting strategy now about picasso? i. >> i know what we need and i think rest of the word does, too. we see the holes in our collection. we need great sculpt tkphrur the late 20s and '30s. we have extraordinary print bus we're missing a few of the most important... >> rose: and you know whose hands they here in and how old they are? >> rose: we're working on eight cylinders. >> rose: (laughs) someone once said to me... you know where this comes from i'm sure. why did you give your work... why are you going to give your work to the metropolitan museum? and he said strength goes to strength. >> rose: that was walter annenberg, of course. and the collection might have had more transformative impact than other institutions but i... you know, he believed in institutions.
12:43 am
he believed in them and he also saw just so particular to his own biography walter anenburg saw an institution that was about to fail which was the barns foundation and he saw what happened to an institution that didn't have the financial strength to last in perpetuity. so in giving his collection to the met he understood not only ... >> rose: it will be here for a long time. >> we had the financial capacity to keep our doors open for eternity. >> rose: a woman in white, 1923. >> a beautiful painting probably based on the features of his new wife, still very much in love with her. although there may be a melding as well with this young americanary esz murphy from easthampton, new york. who was married to gerald murphy and they were fitzgerald like great gatsby... >> rose: spent summers in
12:44 am
italy? >> in the south of france. and glamorous jazz age couple and picasso and olga enjoyed their company. there's also a bit of self-portraiture in these neoclassical heads of women as well with that strong bulbous nose. >> rose: to nocera murphy, did she look like the other women? >> when you look at olga and her thin nose and lips and then you look at these big heroic pompeiien women it's an amalgam. because picasso met olga in italy the first time he had gone, saw the sistine chapel, the great frescoes of michaelangelo, rafael, goes to o pompeii, sees the antique fresco there is and makes an amalgam. >> speaking of that and women in his life, the dreamer, 1932. >> here is one of the most tender and evocative images of mary. it's the mistress he never turned on.
12:45 am
he turned to other women for sexual satisfaction but i don't think he ever lost his love for mary... i think pee kas was so was in his 40s when he met her and she was quite young, 14 when they ran into each other in front of the sidewalk i think he was amaze add young woman of that age and beauty would fall in love with him. he looked back at her with a tenderness and affection that to me is apparent in all his deexpects of her. whether she's sleep organize reading. she's always being looked at. she's always an object of his gaze. whereas dora maar is always looking at us. so dora maar had this keen,
12:46 am
inquisitive, sharp intellect and was stimulating to picasso and that comes across in this pictures of her like dora maar seated in an armchair where she looks like a nervous spider queen drawing webs around the world with marieerer the race we see always this beautiful languid sensuality. >> you see the intelligence in dora maar. >> we do, but not that we don't see in the the pictures of marieer the therese. there are a number of pictures of her reading and according to her daughter she was and avid reader. there was no t.v. in those days and she'd been a lot of her time... >> rose: but did picasso rebel at the idea that she was submissive? >> dora maar? >> yes. >> rose: perhaps and people
12:47 am
who knew picasso well say that he used people up. i mean, that he would focus on you, he had these extraordinary eyes, same eyes that i see in his granddaughter diana picasso living in new york now. these beautiful dark brown eyes which fix on you and you feel you're the only other person on earth when you're being watched. so he's able to draw you in, engage you but others would say he sucks the life out of you for his art and then leaves a shell. >> rose: the relationship with dora maar began to deteriorate after he met fran waugh. >> he met francois in 19443. we have a beautiful drawing of a woman that's done in... he meets her in '44. and at the opening francois came
12:48 am
came and he said "i'm not sure this is you. is this you? will you look at it. she said of course. she looked ate it for a long time and she looked at my label and said "it's made in january, 1944, it's not me. we only met in june." but that tells me that the likeness was that like me she had a question as to whether or not it was her and it's as if he's thinking of her and picasso believed in that magic. >> his fantasy moved to a certain place and this woman moves walks in and satisfies hi. >> absolutely. >> rose: who was lucas? >> lucas was a great german renaissance master and painting in the mid-16th century there's a painting at the louvre... it's not the louvre, i think dresden but picasso must have had a postcard of it and he made this very amusing and
12:49 am
technically quite challenging color line coat after it. the teuflt difficulty in realizing this work, you can see the red and yellow color zones don't line up well. and because of that he invent add new technique. >> rose: what's a line cut? >> it's when you take a piece and start gouging it without a scraper and where you have a gouge, you don't get ink. and where you have the linoleum, you don't get ink. as a child you might have made prints with a potato, you dip the potato in ink, like a rubber stamp. quite literally like a rubber stamp. you remove what you don't want to prince. what he was able to do is called reductive line cut technique. take a large block, remove a little bit, ink over it and print it and remove some more, ink over it and print it. and by using opaque inks he's
12:50 am
able to superimpose and everything everything register. when off color print you see days when the printing press is off and blue yellow and red are not in line. this is an obstacle for the printer. >> rose: 1968, the last one. >> this is one of his... one of two late paintings we have here. there's an almost desperate amount of activity that comes out of his studio, he makes the 347 suite in spring, summer and early fall 1968. 347 kind of prints which is a history of world literature as expressed by picasso which where he restating famous novels of renaissance spain engaging tint
12:51 am
rhett toe, degas, ang, i go tkwrarbgs bringing them into his world. as he said, this is my way of writing fiction. i manipulate them. he also is working in sculpture and makes paintings which were finally shown in two last exhibitions in avenuen i don't know which hepbding his career on a sour note. he was excoriated. i don't know if jack lean would have shown him the press that these late exhibitions generated they were called the scribbling of a senile old man. but there was expressionism occurring in europe, german artists, a young man like pwas kuwait here in new york.
12:52 am
not too dissimilar from the late expressionist style that picasso achieved in his life. for picasso it was complete liberty. it was more about story telling but i think that liberty he gave himself was something that was very inspiring to painters young and old and today now 40 years later we still see the impact of that kind of painting on our artistic production in europe and america. >> rose: was this painting a rage against death and a sense of depression about things? >> i think he thought to stop working was to die and he hoped if he could continue working he would continue to live. so he thought the work was a
12:53 am
manifestation of the fact he was still alive and he desperately wanted to live and he didn't want to die. >> rose: jack lean was with him at that time. where do you putter? >> she ran this circus and she made sure everything happened smoothly. so she was there to provide everything he wanted. she would clean his brushes, she would post for him when he asked for it. she would tidy things when he wanted it. she would keep people at bay so he could work. she also kept his natural children at bay so at the end of his life there was a kind of narrowing down of his range of friends and people that could be admitted to his household but like that movie we were discussing "the last station" i think it's something tolstoy
12:54 am
wanted, too. he wanted peace so he could work. while all these people were clamoring, dealers, publishers, former lovers, children, they all wanted a piece of picasso, jacqueline was able to put up the wall so he could work he had something he wanted to say... >> rose: to have been the end. >> to the end. but to me it wasn't the message it was simply the fact that he was working that was so important to him. >> rose: thank you very money. >> you're quite welcome, charlie. >> rose: great to be here and great to see the extraordinary work of someone who continues to fascinate. >> rose: certainly does. >> rose: my thanks to gary tinterow, the metropolitan museum's department of 19th century modern and contemporary art. the exhibition is called picasso in the metropolitan museum of art. it ends on august 15, 2010.
12:55 am
need i say more? thank you for joining us. see you next time.
12:56 am
12:57 am
12:58 am
12:59 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on