Direct from the Museum of Modern Art in New York comes Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters. The much-anticipated arrival of these pieces has caused such hype that on opening night, over 500 people lined up to view the exhibit. The exhibit features iconic artists such as Matisse, Chirico, Mondrian, and of course, Picasso and Warhol.
Upon entering the exhibit, a security guard informed us that on opening night, visitors were so overwhelmed that they started dancing in the gallery. I could immediately understand why – I felt almost starstruck standing in front of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. For me, Warhol’s pieces were the highlight. Being able to admire the Brillo Box from mere inches away was unreal.
From pop art to surrealism, the work of Giorgio de Chirico caught my eye. Chirico’s The Song of Love is one of the earliest surrealist paintings, and features his unique style of painting architecture, which I was later told was the metaphysical style of painting.
I’ve never been much for surrealism or cubism but Picasso’s Night Fishing at Antibes was a standout. The painting is large enough to cover one wall and is immediately recognisable as Picasso’s work. Night Fishing at Antibes depicts a dream-like scene, and is said to be based on events from Picasso’s life – his last days with lover and muse, Dora Maar. Although Picasso is probably most famous for his involvement in the cubism movement (think Weeping Woman) it was surprising to see his earlier works. During the ‘blue period’ of Picasso’s life, his work reflected sadness, loneliness, and pain. Unlike his cubism pieces, these earlier artworks are not so abstract and are more accurate reflections of his subjects in blue, green, and brown.
A piece by Alexander Calder, an American sculptor, featured in a glass cabinet. The piece, titled Portrait of a Man, is a wire mobile of a face, a style that Calder is famous for. The interesting thing is that when placed under the right lighting, the mobile casts a shadow, which shows a two-dimensional view of the sculpture.
To add to the viewing experience, AGWA also has podcasts available for download to your smartphone or iPhone that go into detail about each artist and their artworks.
You don’t need to be an expert to appreciate this exhibit; it’s a great opportunity to become introduced to and inspired by modern art.
Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters is on at the Art Gallery of Western Australia until 3rd December 2012.
By Audrie Tang
Photography by Matthew Savino View Album