Picasso And River Conversations Across Time

1289 WordsMar 20, 20176 Pages
Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera were friends, rivals, and two of the most influential artists working in the early 20th century. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in their exhibit “Picasso & Rivera: Conversations Across Time” examines the relationship between these two frenemies through five thematic sections, and is a breathtaking example of just how much artists can influence each other while still creating their own distinct pieces that would define an era. The way that the exhibit is presented by co-curators Diana Magaloni, the deputy director of the Program for the Art of the Ancient Americas at LACMA, and Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, is an excellent format for the novice gallery observer. Following…show more content…
Even at such a young age, both are prime examples of what would later be their defining archetypes as Picasso the romantic, whose drawing has a clear focus on the female figure, and Rivera the anti-imperialist, whose sculpture is toppled over in perhaps protest of the classicism present in the era. Their paths crossed for the first time at the start of World War One, in 1914, both as non-combatant artists in Paris. Picasso, then 28, had been living in Paris for years while Rivera, then 23, was just starting to make a name for himself and had come to Europe to further develop his art. The two became quick friends, talking all night about the future of art on the night they met; and ironically, would later both change the future of art and would be at the forefront of the Cubist movement. One year after their initial meeting, the famous rivalry between the two artists emerges. Both artists became active participants in the avant-garde movement, and started creating Cubist works. The exhibit follows this transition, leading viewers to the main attraction: the quintessential Cubist room. Featuring perhaps one of the best representations of the similarities between the two artists, Picasso’s “The Poet” (1912) and Rivera’s “Sailor at Lunch,” (1914) the room shows the beginning stages of the experimentation for both of the artists.

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