Madrid: Day Three: Part One


Saw Picasso’s Guernica. Actually saw quite a bit of Picasso including some from his blue period as well as his go at doing pottery. Now, there is little doubt that if one artist had to be picked as the dominant artist of the 20th century, dear Pablo would be the one. I used to feel that he was overhyped and then leafing through the double volume from Taschen, which I then bought, I realized that you could not overhype this man. He has perhaps the widest range of any artist and a sense of composition that is frightening. His throwaways might lack a lot of things but there is always that unerring balance. But his pottery is pretty lamentable. I might be the worst potter on the planet myself but I have to say, he comes a close second.


The Raina Sofia not only housed numerous Picassos but also Dali, Tapies, Miro, Gris, and a couple of very cool Spanish sculptors.




Gargallo. This last stands an imposing seven feet high.

The Reina is a 6 story high blue glass and rust metal but airy building with large kinetic sculptures outside. It was raining but not too hard so we were able to watch the slowly moving metal works. One was 3 stories high consisting of long metal rods languidly moving in a wave like fashion. Inside was a feature exhibition of more kinetic pieces and other pieces that worked with light. Much of this was interactive like long strands hung from the ceiling that you were supposed to walk through. It was one of those things that looked very cool when others were in it but was kind of anticlimactic if you were the one inside.

What ended up as one of my highlights was watching a pristeen version of Bunuel and Dali’s Un Chien Andalou. I had seen it before but this time it seemed both more powerful and funnier. Also there was a looped film of a wolf and a deer circling each other and otherwise moving around in a bare space. It was suspenseful. You expected some horrible end but then it just repeated this predator prey anticipation. All the stronger since they were presented life size with occasional closeups.

Other than that, this was a museum of mostly modern art with not too much from the last couple of decades. One thing we noticed was that where at the Prado the guards were dour beaurocratic creatures here they were fresh young beautiful women who whiled away their time doing sketches), no doubt a primo part time job for art students.

3 comments on “Madrid: Day Three: Part One

  1. What is Un chien andalou? Chien… that’s…dog? Is it a film?

    That pot is hideous. I kinda of want to hold it.

  2. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un_Chien_Andalou for the description. Its a surrealist film from 1929. Though I liked it a lot it really does not compare to Bunuel’s later masterpieces Discreet Charm of the Bourgeousie (1972), or That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). And that pot is one of the better examples…actually quite fetching in comparison to most of his stuff.

  3. […] if you will a mixture of early Dali/Bunuel, David Lynch, Peter Joel Witkin, and silent melodrama in general. He breaks all the rules and forms […]

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