An Art Dealer in the Spotlight

Artist Rene Magritte and gallerist Alexander Iolas - December 16 1965. Photo: Steve Schapiro-Corbis

In 2011, at Sotheby’s, L’Aubade, a 1967 painting by Pablo Picasso sold for $23 million. In recent years, Picasso’s late works have taken center stage, with giddy results at auction and thronged exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery. It wasn’t always thus. The late works were undervalued for years by all but a perspicacious few. One of Read More


From Brush and Palette to Printer and Cartridge: ‘Picasso Black and White’ at the Guggenheim, ‘Wade Guyton OS’ at the Whitney

6 Photos

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Dora), 1941 (cast 1958)

IN ADDITION to being the most celebrated artist of the 20th century, Picasso is also the most difficult to pin down. So it is not surprising that an austere exhibition of his paintings, sculptures and drawings, ostensibly all in black and white, actually yields smudges of color: jade, olive, lemon-meringue yellow, midnight blue. Less surprising is the fact that the pieces on view—some 118 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, including 38 being shown for the first time in the United States and five displayed for the first time in public—are full of his signature muscular shapes. The show’s curator, Carmen Giménez, brought Richard Serra to the Guggenheim Bilbao in 1999, and her taste for the sculptural is evident in this exhibition. Read More


Picasso Descendants Plan Authentication Group

Picasso in 1955. (George Stroud/Express/Getty Images)

Four Picasso family members have said that they will form a group to authenticate works by Picasso, Carol Vogel reports in her Inside Art column in The New York Times. As Ms. Vogel notes, the news is something of a surprise as many authentication authorities, including those for works by Basquiat, Warhol and Haring, have closed, or announced plans to do so, fearing lawsuits from collectors who disagree with their assessments. Read More


Picasso Vandal Captured Red-Handed at Menil Collection

Still from cell phone video, 2012. (Courtesy Youtube)

A video of a young man shown vandalizing Pablo Picasso’s painting Woman in a Red Armchair at the Menil Collection surfaced on YouTube recently and is making the rounds. The video captures the vandal in flagrante delicto by an amateur cellphone videographer as the vandal was stenciling an image of a bullfighter killing a bull, and the word “Conquista.” Read More


The One That Got Away: ‘Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris, 1943–1953’ at Gagosian and Frank Stella at L&M Arts

2 Photos

Pablo Picasso, La Femme au fauteil, 1948. (Courtesy Gagosian

PABLO PICASSO WAS 61 when he met Françoise Gilot, a pretty 23-year-old art student, in a Parisian café in 1943. That he seduced her surprised no one; that she eventually left him was, given his successes with women, pretty shocking, and became the subject of several books and films. Artworks originating during and depicting their decade-long relationship are now on display at Gagosian Gallery, where they constitute the fourth Picasso exhibition there curated by the artist’s biographer John Richardson. This period of Picasso’s production isn’t as inspired as his early collage, as eccentric as his late imaginary portraits (the subject of Gagosian’s 2009 show “Picasso: Mosqueteros”), or as inventive as the passionate painting in last spring’s “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou.” Instead, the pottery, paintings, lithographs and sculptures, shown alongside a room of paintings by the young Ms. Gilot—who curated the exhibition in tandem with Mr. Richardson—are placidly domestic. The two artists often worked from the same subject: their family life in the south of France and, especially, their young children, Claude and Paloma. Read More


A Family Affair: At the Met, ‘Steins’ Demonstrates Pleasures of Art Collecting

2 Photos

Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905

“It was like one of the best rooms in the finest museum except there was a big fireplace and it was warm and comfortable and they gave you good things to eat and tea and natural distilled liqueurs.” That is how Ernest Hemingway described the living room of the expat Americans Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo at 27, rue de Fleurus, in Paris, and it is only fitting that this room can now be experienced inside one of the world’s finest museums. The Steins have arrived at the Met in the form of the sprawling and fascinating exhibition “The Steins Collect,” where the siblings’ 460-square-foot living room has been meticulously reconstructed, revealing, through photographic projections, how their collection swelled, between 1904 and 1934, from a modest grouping of nine pieces to a tightly packed installation of dozens of dazzling paintings by the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin and Cézanne. This living room salon, and the relationships it engendered, is at the heart of the show about the Steins, which comes to the Met after runs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (the Stein family was based in nearby Oakland) and Paris’s Grand Palais. It’s a show about the gratifications—aesthetic, intellectual, social—to be had from collecting contemporary art. Read More