“Man needs colour to live; it’s just as necessary an element as fire and water.” Fernand Léger ( February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955)
CUBISM: The Exhibition At The Met Museum: A look at The Leonard A. Lauder Collection
If you happen to visit New York in the coming weeks and months, I encourage you to spend some time at the upcoming exhibition on CUBISM at The Metropolitan Museum. Spread over seven galleries, it features 80 works by 4 of its most celebrated Cubist artists: Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris. The exhibition offers a fantastic journey through some of their artwork, curated from Leonard Lauder’s impressive collection, and outlines the genesis of Cubism. It will open to the public on Oct 20 – Feb 16. Make sure to see it as I bet you’ll enjoy the exciting range of artwork in the collection. I loved every minute of it.
In case you’ve forgotten, Mr Leonard Lauder, Chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder, announced, in April 2013, that he was making a huge donation of his Cubist art collection worth over $1 billion dollars to The Met Museum. His collection includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris and has put The Met Museum in an envious position of becoming a major repository of Cubist art. Cubism is considered the most influential art movement of the early 20th century and those 4 artists were either co-founders and/or innovative contributors to the movement. I’ve added a brief history of each artist with links to Wikipedia and The Met Museum where you can learn and see more of the art work. Do you plan to see the collection? What are your thoughts?
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (French) was a painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. He was one the earliest artists to create a form of cubism in his art work. He was also considered a forerunner of pop art because of his bold treatment of modern subjects in his art work. Over time, he modified his art to a figurative, populist style. I love his use of bold, strong colors and the seemingly simple yet complex nature of his art.
“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973)
CUBISM: The Exhibition At The Met Museum – Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair, Pablo Picasso, 1914
Leonard A. Lauder on Collecting Cubism
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso (Spanish) lived into the 1970’s and some of us were around when he was still alive and creating his art. He was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright. He spent the bulk of his productive, creative life in France and some people mistakenly assume he was french. Picasso is credited with developing, exploring, and creating a wide variety of styles; he co-founded the Cubist movement, invented constructed sculpture, and co-invented the art of collage with Georges Braque. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. I’ve always loved his artwork and have been drawn to his African influenced art.
“There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.” Georges Braque (13 May 1882 – 31 August 1963)
CUBISM: The Exhibition At The Met Museum – Still Life with Clarinet (Bottle and Clarinet) Georges Braque (French, Argenteuil 1882–1963 Paris) 1911
Georges Braque (French) was a highly regarded 20th-century painter, collagist, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. Braque invented the papier collé technique which is a form of collage making and you can see the style in the photo above. He also wielded enormous influence through his artistic contributions; particularly his alliance with Fauvism from 1906, his close association with the work of his colleague Pablo Picasso from 1908 to 1912, and his involvement in the development of Cubism. I’m a huge fan of collage, so you can imagine how much this exhibition and Braque’s art meant to me.
“You are lost, the moment you know what the result will be.” Juan Gris (March 23, 1887 – May 11, 1927)
CUBISM: The Exhibition At The Met Museum – Head of a Woman (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother) Juan Gris Paris, 1912
José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (Spanish) was better known as Juan Gris. Gris was a painter and sculptor. He grew up in Madrid but spent most of his life living and working in France. He was influenced by Cubism which was seen as the innovative, artistic, genre of his day. His creative body of work is considered among the most distinctive of the Cubist movement and, even though he lived for only 40 years, his innovative work remains one of the top artistic expressions of the Cubist period. I found his collection truly inspiring, by virtue of its range and subject matter.
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