Paris via New York: Picasso at MOMA

From regular contributor Betty Guernsey:

Pablo Picasso has been called “the ultimate measuring stick for artists of the 20th century”, and the current Picasso Sculpture show at the Museum of Modern Art goes a long way toward proving it. Trained as an artist but totally self-trained as a sculptor, most of his earliest free-form works emerged during his Cubist period in Paris with Georges Braque, continuing throughout his subsequent years at Boisgeloup in Normandy, the War Years in Paris, and his later time in Cannes and Vallauris in the South of France, where he was strongly influenced by ceramic.

Sculpture was a medium he approached experimentally and with a complete spontaneity – often quite daring – adapting objets trouvés and the flotsam and jetsam of Parisian streets, and re-shaping them into pieces of wit and creative genius.  A show well worth seeing, you can catch it until February 7.

Merci beaucoup, Betty!

Isadora Duncan at Musée Antoine Bourdelle

Emile-Antoine Bourdelle was a student of Rodin, and later became a well known sculptor in his own right. His large-scale works are displayed in the building where he once worked, which was wonderfully renovated by architect Christian de Portzamparc about 10 years ago, near Tour Montparnasse.

Boudelle’s work is at once emotional and graceful – and the museum’s current temporary expo, “A Living Sculpture,” highlights both of these elements, as it explores the artist’s relationship with dancer Isadora Duncan.

Bourdelle first met Duncan in 1903 (Rodin introduced them), but it wasn’t until 1909 that Bourdelle saw Duncan dance on stage. He proclaimed her his muse. Commissioned to decorate the facade for the illustrious Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Bourdelle would watch Duncan’s performances, then return home and sketch for hours.

This five-part expo traces Duncan’s life and career through photographs, artwork, and documents. It examines works by other contemporaries, including Rodin, and examines the relationship between Duncan and Bourdelle through works of art. Until March 14.