When you discuss the names of the most influential and important artists of all time, Pablo Picasso has to be part of the conversation. From realism to surrealism to abstraction, Picasso was not only a master of numerous artistic styles throughout his life, he challenged conventional thinking about art and creativity.
This summer, the Art Gallery of Ontario is showing Picasso, Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris. The collection features 147 iconic works from Picasso’s personal collection. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from all phases of the artist’s prolific career. We couldn’t pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the genius that is Picasso.
There is something magical about seeing original masterpieces up close and personal. From just seeing prints or images in books to standing inches away from the iconic Portrait of Dora Maar, Two Women Running on the Beach or the haunting La Celestine gives you goose bumps. Being able to see the actual brush strokes and fine details of Picasso’s masterpieces helps you to truly appreciate his artistic genius and the style that he made his own.
One of the best parts of this exhibition is the fact that the pieces in the collection span his whole career from childhood to shortly before his death in 1973. It’s like an art history exploration of Picasso’s life and demonstrates how incredibly talented he was in more conventional styles of art and in creating new movements like Cubism and Collage. You could spend hours pouring over some of his paintings and sculptures. So inspirational and motivating for anyone interested in art or working in the graphic design field. HIGHLY recommended! It’s only at the AGO until August 26, so don’t miss it!
Speaking of the AGO, if you haven’t been there recently, you should pick a date this summer to pay a visit. What a wonderful way to spend the day, for singles and families alike. There are so many collections to check out on 5 floors of awesomeness. Whether you like modern and contemporary art, European classics, photography, African sculptures or masterpieces from the Group of Seven, there is something to suit every taste.
One of my personal favorites was Constructing Utopia: Books and Posters from Revolutionary Russia. The artwork on some of these propaganda posters from the early 1900’s is so striking and visually awe-inspiring. I love that style of realistic comic book art – so colourful and eye-catching. Really interesting to check out for inspiration for that next custom illustration.
I also came across a really interesting piece by Berlin born Canadian artist Christiane Pflug. Right away this painting caught our eye as we had walked that street thousands of times as we travelled from our apartment overlooking Ramsden Park in Toronto to the Rosedale subway station. It really took us back to a very memorable and influential time in our lives – and that’s the beauty of art. It transcends space and time and can transport you instantly to places in your mind that may have been forgotten. The back story on Pflug’s life was very compelling to read too.
And while I have you here, just want to make quick mention of the incredible restaurant at the AGO – Frank (love the name and branding). We grabbed breakfast there before catching the Picasso exhibit. Fantastic food, ambiance and service. If our breakfasts are any indication of what the kitchen can do, we are definitely going back! Absolutely delicious!