Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picasso and the Blond Girl

Picasso and the Blond Girl
line drawing by Charlotte Rossmann

Picasso met Marie-Therese Walter when she was 16 and he was 45.  Immediately, they fell in love and for many years she remained the love of his life and the subject of many paintings.  Even though, Picasso seemed to be incapable of being faithful to one woman, for a long period of time his art was infused with the spirit of this lively young woman with the luxurious, long blond hair, crystal blue eyes and voluptuous body. 
At the time Picasso met her, he was living the life of a staid middle class husband and father.  His art lacked the vibrancy and excitement of the early years. Given his talent, fame and charisma he easily found what he was looking for: a young girl willing to toss away the promise of a predictable life, respectability and marriage for the life of artist's mistress.
Marie-Therese became Picasso's principal muse for the next 14 years.  During this time he moved in and out of relationships with other women but still Marie-Therese was his major love interest.  In Picasso's greatest masterpiece, Guernica, Marie-Therese's image can be seen at least 3 times. Over and over Picasso painted her as she seemed to haunt him in art and in life. 
They broke up long before his death in 1973 but even so the bond was strong enough that in the end, she could not bear to face living without Picasso in the world.  Marie-Therese killed herself 50 years after they first met in 1977.  
This love affair is the subject of a major exhibit, "Picasso and Marie-Therese: L-Amour Fou," at the Gagosian Gallery in New York this year.  This exhibit includes some of the masterpieces that Picasso painted that were inspired by the lovely blond girl.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Art News

New Book on Artist
"Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter: A Life" by Patricia Albers explores the life of a successful woman artist before there were many women artists.  Joan decided at the age of 12 to become an artist.  When she died in 1992 at the age of 67, her paintings sold for millions. 
What an interesting life!  Dish the dirt, Darling.  She was a life long alcoholic, a nasty drunk, habitually brawling with lovers and suffering physical abuse in the process (showed up black and blue after such episodes).  She was reckless, promiscuous and self-destructive.  She wanted children yet had several abortions because she believed she couldn't do both paint and be a mother.  Did she have an affair with DeKooning?  Jackson Pollack?  Wow~I can't wait to read this book to find out! 
BTW: Her work is really, really good!
More and more artists are using trash not just as a material but also as a subject.  Just look at what we throw away!  In many cities apparently people are dumpster diving to find great treasures but it's not enough.  Most of it goes to waste.  We could use things longer, not buy new stuff and make art. 
"Recently, there has been a radical shift in our consciousness of trash, with artists now using obsolete things not just as materials but also as content—turning them into landscape, still life, and other artistic genres. This awareness informs the work of artists like Sarah Sze, Mike Nelson, Christoph B├╝chel, Marjetica Potrc, El Anatsui, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Kristen Morgin."
(quote by Kim Levin ArtNews) 
drawing by charlotte rossmann

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright

For Sale: A masterpiece you can live in!
Unbelievably several of Frank Lloyd Wright's beautiful houses are currently for sale.  These are magnificent homes and many are in the multi-million dollar price range but still, it is shocking that they haven't been snatched up.  There are currently at least 17 Wright properties on the market now and the number may be as high as 27. The vast majority of the houses are upper-bracket, priced from $800,000 to $7.5 million.

Interestingly enough, Wright also did a lower end type of house later in his career and these are very affordable.  This house is near McGregor, Iowa and is the lowest priced Wright house on the market at $129,000.  It has three bedrooms and 2 baths.  In addition there are the quality features of a Wright built house such as maple floors, original fireplace and leaded windows.

The beautiful house above is  is priced at $2,590,000.  To find out more you can google Frank Lloyd Wright.