Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Madrid has at least four great museums (where infinity "goes up on trial") and I picked La Reina Sofia because you have to be in a serious mood to tackle The Prado with all it's Goya's and Bosch's....dark paint. But the Sofia Reina has some Miro and Picasso and there in one large room sits Picasso's giant black and white "Guernica" with it's horses howling at the moon and bulls roaring and human fists raised in agony.... and bombs raining destruction and blood down on the town of Gernika during the Spanish Civil War.
I watched the people passing by, and they were shocked and amazed and sorrow-filled. Somehow I thought of the song "Desolation Row" and then I backed up into the hallway and looked into a glass display case of a Calder sculpture....and peering through the case I could see a film being shown in a room across the hall from the "Guernica," a black and white film documenting the attack and bombing of Gernika, and if you peer the right way through the glass you can see Picasso's "Guernica" superimposed over the real bombing of the town in the movie. Chilling. You want conceptual art? Here it finally was.....I don't know if it was all intended to be that way, but that's what I saw. Art and truth meeting life. A moment in time.
Picasso once said that his mother wanted him to be a pianist who would grow up to be a famous composer. "But I became a painter," he said, "and I grew up to be Picasso."
TR Switzerland


editor said...

Thank you.

dynawebb said...

1937 and the shape of things to come, it's an incredible work with so much hidden within - difficult to believe it was as unconscious as Picasso always claimed. You can see graffitti and public art copies all over Basque country where the memories must still linger long....