One of the most frequently asked questions at SAAM's Luce Foundation Center is, "Where are the Picassos?" Usually, our answer is, "We don't have Picassos at American Art. He wasn't an American artist, nor did he ever make art in America." However, for the past few months, we've been singing a slightly different tune, as the exhibition, Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection, contains eighteen paintings and ceramics by the Spanish-born master, considered a towering giant of twentieth century art. But you need to hurry: Crosscurrents closes on Sunday, April 10.
The exhibition illustrates the cross-cultural roots of modernism, as the movement took hold in both Europe and the United States and artistic influences flowed both ways. Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator and curator of Crosscurrents refers to this exchange as "a river of intellectual and artistic commerce that flowed both ways between America and Europe."
And looming larger than life in this artistic conversation is Pablo Picasso, who broke with figurative traditions and whose invention of Cubism places him firmly at the center of this world. David Hockney, who is also included in the exhibition, once remarked that it all started with Picasso—the "it" being modernism. Picasso created a new visual vocabulary and influenced artists on both sides of the Atlantic.
Come for Picasso, but stay for the group of remarkable artists that also includes Georgia O'Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn, David Smith, Wayne Thiebaud, and Niki Saint Phalle, to new a few.