Visiting the AGO Again

It was so nice to go to the Art Gallery of Ontario tonight. It’s something that I’ve been missing for too long. I was anxious to get there, and I left feeling relaxed and satisfied.

Art is a powerful thing.

Tonight, I went to the Picasso: Painting the Blue Period exhibition. It gave me a new perspective on Picasso, even though I’ve been to several of his exhibitions.

What struck me most was his representation of women in this series of paintings. The first time I was introduced to Picasso was when I was in Finland. I remember our art teacher pointing out how Picasso denigrated women in his portrayal of them. Throughout Painting the Blue Period, women are shown to be strong and caring survivors. They are people who act with purpose. It was almost as if he was saying that it is women who uphold society, but this could be quite a stretch.

There was one series of studies for The Soup that I found particularly interesting. The studies demonstrated his commitment to correctness and exactitude. To look at his work, it appears childish and unintentional. This study showed me a side of Picasso I haven’t before, that of a dedicated man.

I especially enjoyed his series on women doing ordinary and mundane things, like drying themselves off, ironing, or even just sitting. The Blue Room was part of this series. I bought a print of it from the gift shop but is not in the photo gallery below. I’m particularly fond of the sketch of the woman drying herself off with her back to us.

Learning that Picasso studied other artists and was inspired by them came as a bit of a shock to me. I always picture him as a man who believes he sits above God. The images inspired by the work of Honoré Daumier stood out to me because they convey a sense of the immense strength of women, who work tirelessly and despite exhaustion.

Finally, my second favourite picture from the exhibition is the one below.

The Frugal Repast

I’d love to know what you think of Picasso and of the exhibition. Drop me a line in the comments below.

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