Art review: Picasso till Midnight

Michelle Baltazar

Many Filipina women love doing things last-minute, which makes it perfect timing to watch the Picasso art exhibit in Sydney before it closes this weekend.

The exhibit, promoted as ‘the greatest Picasso exhibition ever to come to Australia’, opened with much fanfare, very well-deserved, in November last year. Time sure passed by quickly as I remember going to it in January and now, I have less than three days to see it again.

There are more than 120 reasons to find out if there are any more tickets left. Thanks to the closure of the Musee National Picasso in Paris for renovations, more than 120 paintings, drawings and sculptures from Picasso’s personal collection will be displayed on the ground floor of the Art Gallery of NSW.

What I enjoyed most about the exhibit was how extensive it was: there are nine rooms to visit, from the first room where you see his early works, to the second and third room, when you see his ‘cubism’ take shape to the effect of war on his psyche, which then makes its way to his canvas.

I was particularly interested in his paintings of the women he loved and lost. My favourite is his ‘Portrait of Dora Maar’ (1937), inspired by his relationship with the surrealist photographer and writer of the same name.

My second favourite was one of his final works, a simple black and white sketch of himself as a young painter. It just felt right that after going through the motions of trying to copy the legendary artists before him, then co-founding and mastering cubism, and then re-inventing whatever he touches, that he would come full circle with that simple sketch.

The gallery has reported that this exhibit has been its highest-grossing exhibit in recent history and it is easy to see why. Staring at his art is like staring into a child’s soul: boundless, beautiful and always breathtaking.

Find out more here. Open until March 25 with a special 11pm session tomorrow.

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