Throughout his career, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso experimented with wildly divergent styles, techniques, subject matter, and mediums. But over the decades, he would continually return to creating works in the most simple - and often striking - hues of black and white. ''Picasso in Black and White,'' currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, features some 100 of his paintings, sculptures and drawings on paper from the years 1904 through 1970.
The exhibit comes to Houston after its premiere at the Guggenheim in New York, largely through the efforts and friendship of MFAH Director Gary Tinterow and the exhibit's curator, Carmen Giménez. ''I've known Carmen since 1984, and we've discussed this project many times over the last decade,'' Tinterow - who was appointed MFAH director last year - says. ''I immediately asked if we could be the second and only other venue for the exhibit, and now we have it. It is a path-breaking and breathtaking show.''
For Giménez, the limited palette of black and white (and gray) brings the talent of Picasso bursting forth. ''I think within the visual impact of black and white, and gray, you see the essence of Picasso. You see the line,'' she offers. ''Because it doesn't make any difference between drawing, painting, and sculpture. His obsession is inventing, and he invents the line.'' And while she feels that Picasso is a great colorist, some of his greatest works lean toward the monochromatic, even during the so-called ''Blue'' and ''Rose'' periods. ''Color art is not essential,'' she adds. ''It is not the essence of his interest.''
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