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Picasso in all his glory at The Seattle Art Museum

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It’s strange that I could find myself reviewing work from the infamous Pablo Picasso, or even feel worthy enough to make an attempt. I recently had the opportunity to pay a visit to SAM (Seattle Art Museum), where they are showcasing more than 150 Picasso pieces, spanning every era of his eight decades of work (he lived from 1881 to 1973).

This is a GRANDIOSE show folks, and a significant show for Seattle, being that it’s the first major Picasso exhibit to take place here. It’s gathered from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which was created in 1985, 12 years after Picasso’s death. This is only the second time the holdings have traveled to the United States.

Its impressive to see how a man clearly ahead of his time progressed in his art. Extreme measures of Picasso’s artistic diversity can be seen throughout this exhibit. There’s lots from his revolutionary Cubist period, including the Sacre-Coeur (1909-10). I believe every known woman in the man’s life is covered. His first wife, Portrait of Olga in an Armchair 1918 (pictured below) can also been seen as an actual photo, in the impressive photography section of the exhibit. The period inspired by his mistress Marie-Therese Walter showcases five Head of woman bronzes from 1931. One of my favorites, inspired by another muse, Portrait of Dora Maar (pictured above) reflects a sudden use of bright colors that seems to have lasted through the late 30’s in his work. Dora Maar is displayed in many forms, including his Weeping Woman (1937).

The Picasso exhibit at SAM is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view an important body of work, and well worth the pricey admission fee (Picasso tickets are $23 for adults). It would be difficult to put into words how much ground is covered, as I have only included several highlights of this extraordinary event. The final piece appropriately chosen for the exhibit, The Matador (1971,pictured below), painted two years before his death, portrays the passionate, fearless caricature that Picasso is best remembered as.

This not to be missed show closes January 17th. Discount days are 5:00-9:00pm Thursdays and Fridays ($20/$17/$15), and first Thursdays of the month ($12/$9/$8).

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