Just got back from France. We had a lovely three of days at the end of August in our favourite part of the City. We were close to the Luxembourg Gardens at a lovely quirky hotel, but did manage to cross the river and went to the newly renovated Picasso Museum. We’d been meaning to go there for some time but hadn’t managed until now. I hate to say this, but it was something of a let-down.
Here I go again, complaining about curators, or whoever was responsible for making what was a unique and vibrant museum into yet another dull white cube. It is now just like any other gallery anywhere else in the world. Some of Picasso’s paintings are there, but the austere white walls and the austere white frames suck the energy out of them. The hanging seems to be more about creating a clever pattern with the frames on the wall instead of considering the paintings. Even more upsetting is the complete disappearance of his ceramics and the almost non-appearance of his sculptures. I must suppose that these were too light-hearted and amusing to be considered important enough to be seen by the public. However, I did like the room that held his personal collection.
I completed a complaint form after our visit. Interestingly the staff members whom we spoke to were not happy with the way the museum looks now. They said that they were not listened to when the renovations were being planned. They also said that the family approved it all. It must be that they, the family, know best. After all is said and done, they have the genes necessary to understand a Twentieth Century genius.
On a more positive note; we went to a concert at the Albert Hall and heard the Proms debut of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. A wonderful sound and very exciting. One of the pieces in the first half was Aaron Copland’s ‘Lincoln Portrait’. Brilliantly played by the orchestra and brilliantly read by Charles Dance. The second half of the concert was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. It’s unusual to hear an American orchestra handle a European composer so well. Is this due to their French conductor and music director Louis Langrée?
I hope that those of you in the Wimbledon vicinity on the weekend of 16th and 17th September will drop into the Hand in Hand pub to have a look at my latest exhibition. The landlord, Andrew Ford, Has kindly allowed me to take over the whole pub.