Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paintings I Like, pt. 78

Pablo Picasso, Nude With Folded Hands, 1906.  Oil on canvas, 61" x 37."

This picture was in "The Steins Collect" at the Met; an exhibition which is really kind of a strange combination of a sleeper and blockbuster.  There are lots of marvelous but relatively small scale paintings, some of which are quite unassuming, that have really hung around in my memory - the total impact of the show is really larger than the sum of its parts.  I've been twice, and I feel quite sure I'm going to make at least one more visit.

I always think of Picasso as a draughtsman first and foremost; his color generally lags behind, and he never reached the heights of his friend and rival Matisse in the latter category.  But this picture, with its highly compressed range of values and hues is just so great, the edges melt into a kind of warm cloud of pink and orange - it's like a Rothko with a naked girl nearly hidden right in the center.