Who am I?

I’m an Agilist, a former software engineer, a gamer, an improviser, a podcaster emeritus, and a wine lover. Learn more.

Currently Consuming
  • The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    by Eric Ries
  • The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
    The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
    by Daniel Coyle
  • Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton
    by Ron Chernow
« Pull, Don't Push | Main | The Obvious Child »
Friday
Jan202012

Private Key Art

Gwen and I managed to catch the Picasso and Braque exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art the day that it closed. The exhibit, comprising a double dozen prints and half that many paintings executed by the pair between 1909 and 1912, explores the beginnings of Analytic Cubism. Picasso and Braque worked closely together — often side-by-side — during this period, and the exhibit explores their similar, though not identical, explorations of the boundaries of art.

Talking about it afterwards, Gwen and I agreed that the best way for us to take in Cubist works is to not think about the original objects the artists were looking at. When we do that, we inevitably try to reassemble the work into those objects, which is usually an exercise in futility. (That’s not always true, as several of Braque’s prints involving bottles of Bass demonstrated.) I remarked at one point that the Cubist style is a kind of “artistic cryptography”: You can’t recover the original without having the key.

Other thoughts:

  • I’m not sure why, but I liked Braque’s pieces in this exhibition a little better than Picasso’s.
  • There’s something about the way they both reduced forms to sharply-defined areas of color and texture that led to a preponderance of pyramidal shapes in these works.
  • Their primary choices of subject material (cafe still-lifes) make me think how nice it must have been to hang around in cafes being artistic all day.
  • The layout of the exhibit itself was a bit Cubist, though perhaps unintentionally so. There was no route through the gallery that created a single, coherent narrative. Perhaps we were supposed to simply absorb the whole from different angles.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>