PICASSO & Other Happy Truths

Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 31 August 2012

The older I become the more I am taking note of the fleeting passage of time. It was well over four months ago when I first visited the Picasso exhibit at the AGO’s media preview. It had been a great morning of discovery and contemplation. Seasons have since changed, and the blockbuster show of masterpieces from Picasso’s personal collection borrowed from his namesake museum in Paris, is now over. What a run!

I was privileged to be there on the first day (see Major Works by PICASSO Arrive at the AGO) but also return to experience the rush on closing day: the clock was ticking on this hot Sunday but the air-conditioning was comfortably cool. Looking around, I had the quick sense that for more than many it was their last-chance first visit, whereas for me it had already been my third delightful encounter through these moody-lit galleries.

Long but fast-moving queues, hoards of visitors of all ages carrying audio guides and brochures, layers of people gazing at artworks and circling sculptures and, of course, vigilant security officers watchful of children’s musings and frankly, everyone else.

I chose to wear my lightweight knapsack as my preference is to be hands-free. But, as soon as I entered the gallery floor, I was reminded by an alert member of security that no bags of any kind or size (irrespective of one’s maturity and carefulness) would be allowed on one’s back. As I came to learn, this duly applied rule was brought into effect due to an unfortunate incident at a past exhibit involving the owner of a backpack, his clumsiness and a work of art… Oy, just imagine! Appreciating this explanation, I reverted to cradling my bag in my arms, still conscientious of people and valuable artworks all around.

(l) Picasso. © Frank Gehry’s Staircase, AGO. (r) Professor.

Saluting Picasso one last time, I sauntered over to the Frum Collection of African Art at the gallery next door. Truly beautiful artifacts are on display, crafted with such precision and significance. I sat down to ponder the lives of these artisans, their stories and histories. Ungraspable.

Some two hours had now passed, and I was readying to leave. But as with every trip to the AGO, I like to check out what’s happening in The Grange, the official members’ lounge. There was quite a lot of activity but, almost immediately, I took ownership of a forward-facing modernist armchair. And thus began my impromptu, intellectual and interesting exchange with a stranger seated in view who, I would discover, is a francophone, a sociologist, a lover of Paris, a proud father, and someone who bears a striking resemblance to Picasso himself! Art imitating life! Life imitating art!

Whatever your subscription, I’m sure you would agree that life truly is enhanced by art and artful conversations based on curiosity, generosity and youthful spirit that make for refreshingly truthful and human encounters.

The next stop for Picasso’s heritage treasures is Milan where the show will open at Palazzo Reale on 20 September 2012. Da vedere, a must-see for Picasso enthusiasts, art lovers and gallery-goers. Buona visita in anticipo!