Posts Tagged ‘Dog Day Afternoon’

Blackpaint 665 – Picasso, Bomberg and the Old Masters

March 5, 2020

Picasso on Paper, Royal Academy until 13th April

This is an unexpectedly huge show, covering his whole career, kicking off with the Blue Period beggar and his girl, facing you as you enter, and with a fabulous Blue Period self portrait as well – neither of which are works on paper, but the RA seems often to stray from the stated theme (for example, the Lucian Freud “self portraits”, several of which were nothing of the sort).  Who cares, anyway, except for critics, as long as the paintings are good…

The Blue Period is followed by the Rose Period, more great paintings and works on paper.  It seems that both of these periods lasted about two years; strange that Picasso could confine himself to long periods using the same palette, given his drive for invention and furious work rate.  Anyway, some highlights below as always, with my perceptive and amusing comment where necessary:

 

 

Portrait of Stravinsky, from about 1920, I believe; it’s charcoal over pencil, with some erasure, it appears.  Quite conventional for that date, after Desmoiselles d’Avignon from 1907 and the Cubist works.

 

Shepherd; wideset eyes, rather bland expression (the shepherd, not the sheep).

 

Minotaur painting; I love the shape that the drooping horse makes over the arm of the monster.

 

There are a number of these heads with the bulbous nose which starts at the top of the forehead; I think the model was Marie – Therese Walther.

 

A companion to the Stravinsky drawing from the same period.  This one I at first thought was accomplished in a single line drawing with no errors, or pentimenti, to give them the polite term.  When you look closely, though, there are faint pencil marks, one under her bottom lip for example – so he was human after all.

 

Big late painting, from the Tate Modern, in one of the last rooms, with several brothel pictures, mostly etchings, I think.

 

An earlier work, painting and collage.  I’ll be going again, so no doubt more pictures to follow.

Three punters discussing the Picasso animatedly.

 

Young David Bomberg and the Old Masters at the National Gallery until 1st March

Small (free) exhibition in one room; the idea is to show how Bomberg was influenced by Old Masters in his work.  The early “exploding” abstracts are there; Mud Bath, Jiu Jitsu and The Hold, along with some sketches and preparatory drawings of the same – but so far as I can see, they don’t relate to the supposed theme – no OM influence.  The ones that do are below:

Bomberg stated that he wanted to do a self-portrait full face, looking straight at the viewer, like the Botticelli youth in the red cap.   Here they are; the Botticelli slightly blurred.

 

This picture was painted in 1919, commissioned by the Canadian government to commemorate the Canadian war effort.  It shows sappers in action and was not well received by the Canadians, who felt the style and colours were inappropriate.  Bomberg had been influenced by the El Greco painting below; you can clearly see the shapes and colours of the El Greco in the Bomberg painting. even though this photo  only shows a part.

 

Uncut Gems, dirs. Josh and Bennie Safdie (2019)

Starring Adam Sandler, who is very clearly channeling Al Pacino here, this film reminded me in an odd way of “Dog Day Afternoon”: the same shouting and swagger, the same sudden violence and the same lack of realistic expectation in the main character.  At first, it’s too noisy; the score runs relentlessly through the dialogue making it hard to hear – hard to stand, even – but you are drawn in, and once in…

Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon

 

One of mine to finish…

Midnight Rider

Blackpaint

5.3.20