[New York Peasant by Wilfrid: May 31, 2012]
A lavish, multi-level show at the uptown Gagosian illustrates Picasso's response over ten years, 1943-53, to his wife and muse Françoise Gilot. A beauty, and a thoroughly worthwhile artist herself, Gilot was evidently nothing less than an obsession for Picasso. The fierce sun of the south of France also seems to pervade the exhibition.
Gilot looks out at us so relentlessly, from pictures and portraits of every kind, that it's almost a relief to find refuge in the small section of the show devoted to her paintings.
Perhaps the centerpiece of the show is a series of 22 portraits of Gilot, which seem to constitute 22 different ways of brilliantly resolving the same painting. And you just know Picasso could show you 22 more if he'd wanted. Through June 30.
For a cooler immersion in the waters of artistic invention, consider a small selection of Richard Diebenkorn's prints at Greenberg Van Doren. This really constitutes an appetizer for the big "Ocean Park" show which opened at Orange County Museum of Art earlier this year, and is coming to DC in the summer.
Some prints from the "Ocean Park" series are here, as well as representatives from other abstract groups (including the tedious "Spades"), and there are a few pictures from his figurative period too. As ever, you can spend a great deal of time watching his mellow color fields serenely defy the shaky grids which attempt to contain them. West coast cool jazz for the eye. Through June 29.