Friday night found the Weaver and me attending the preview party of the Picasso and American Art exhibit at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. These parties have become de rigeur for the artistic elite of Minnesota, but they let us in anyway. Lots of people (four thousand tickets sold); a chance for people to dress up and get some culture in the process.
The show itself featured a couple of dozen lesser Picassos juxtaposed with some American heavyweights who were influenced by The Master: Wilheim de Kooning, Max Weber, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock and others. there was even a Man Ray- fun to experience a seldom seen painting of his. The older stuff in the show was all quite dingy- whether they were painted that way or were just in the need of a cleaning, I don't know but I suspect the former. The Pollocks were the great surprise here, eight or nine major works, with strong Picasso influences, from a period of his just before the big "splatter paintings." Really impressive. The show was heavy on the testosterone; these were macho men in a macho time. Picasso's genitals made their mandatory appearance, as well as Lichtenstein's pop art nudes; a little Georgia O'Keefe would have been a nice change of pace (although she was hardly a Picasso disciple- but we did catch her in the regular collection.)
The party was fun too! A light mist on the large patios made for a magic atmosphere; there were just as many people under the elements as were under the canopies.
There was some couple action going on as well- with the city lights for a backdrop, what could be more romantic? Singles were also present in full force; many young women had underwear (and more) trying to escape from within the confines of their chic cocktail dresses (sorry, no pictures). All the while a band played (techno, of course) as the wine flowed like water and a splendid time was had by all.