Picasso's Drawing at the Frick Collection

One of the best things about studying at NYSID is the proximity to some of the greatest museums in the world—the Museum of Modern Art, the MET, and the Frick, to name a few. The Frick Collection is not a huge, encyclopedic museum, but it has some amazing art and right now there’s a show that’s really worth seeing. Act fast, because it closes this Sunday, January 8! 

The show is Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition. It has more than 60 works spanning three decades, showing the artist’s revolutionary development, mastery and inventions in drawing. The show has a number of portraits, such as Portrait of the Artist’s Father, which shows the 15 year-old Picasso’s ability to capture his father as an aging, stern aristocrat in an exacting Classical style. 

I was surprised there were so many drawings of interiors, which should be of particular interest to you interior design enthusiasts. Still Life in Front of a Window at Saint Raphael, is a brilliant little piece depicting the interior of a hotel room. Created 20 years after the portrait of his father, it shows how the artist’s technical abilities had matured. His use of color, line and texture to describe a violin and music sheets on a wooden table is heart-stopping. I gave this one a good six or seven minutes before I could move on. 

Picasso’s fascination with interiors and hotel rooms is also apparent in the Cubist collages and pastels of the places he stayed throughout Europe. Windows, chairs, dining tables and other types of furniture all become colorful arrays of angles, planes and shapes. Picasso often used wallpaper to make collages of interiors, which makes them especially interesting. Some of these works can even be recognized as studies for some of his more famous paintings. 

For anyone that is a fan of drawing and interior design this is one show you don’t want to miss. Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition is a journey through the mind of a master draftsman and shows us why Picasso’s creativity and inventiveness is still so relevant to drawing today.

Phyllis Greer