There’s a Picasso show in Toronto right now, which I just saw for the second time. The famous gynomorphic still life, reproduced everywhere, is three to four times bigger than I expected. Big hacking strokes with a wide brush. Now there’s one proof that Clark is onto something. The scale is bodily. The cracks in the paint are pretty real too.

Pablo Picasso, Still life 1931

Talking with sculptor James Carl about the show was a pleasure, because he gets it. We both admire Picasso’s continuous invention. I guess there still are artists who respond to that. The straw hat in this ridiculous piece is conjured out of nothing that looks like straw.

Pablo Picasso, Man with a straw hat 1938

There is black and pale green underpainting. That is drawn over with black spirals and curves and then the whole thing is dotted with yellow. And that makes a straw hat.

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