The show was organized in chronological order and my selections follow accordingly. I won't try to comment on everything. But I used my new iPhone to good advantage to try to capture a sense of it all. Here is what I saw (and not solely in the Picasso exhibit.)
|Glass of Absinthe, 1914|
|Woman in the Garden, 1930|
|Head of a Woman (detail), 1930|
|Composition with Glove, 1930|
|Bust of a Woman, 1931|
|Bust of a Woman, 1931|
|Head of a Woman, 1932|
|Man with a Lamb (detail), 1943|
|Venus of Gas, 1945|
|Little Owl, 1951|
|Baboon and Young, 1951|
|Goat Skull and Bottle, 1953|
|Little Girl Jumping Rope, 1954|
|The Bathers, 1956|
|Bull (detail), 1958|
|Woman with Child (detail), 1961|
|Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907|
I paused before the two Rothkos, side by side. This one "worked" on me better than the other. Reproduction can't achieve its effect, of course.
The last time I had this hard a time getting a clear view of a painting because of the crowds around it was Mona Lisa at the Louvre (many years ago).
Duchamp by comparison was standing all alone in the middle of a gallery.
I also visited the Photography galleries. Contemporary photography, it seems, can't simply hang on a wall anymore. Once the medium was famously described by curator John Szarkowski (for MoMA in 1978) as "mirrors and windows." Now photography represents just about anything except either of those metaphors, at least if the current exhibition--appropriately entitled Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015--is the determinant.
Above is Katsura, by Japanese photographer Yuki Kamura. The black and white photographs themselves depict the famous imperial villa in Kyoto, Katsura. But depicting it is only part of the point in this conceptual installation. The arrangement of images corresponds to their relative positions in the actual building and is intended to "invite meandering."
This multifaceted installation by Israeli photographer Ilit Azoulay, entitled Shifting Degrees of Certainty, was too large to fit into a single frame. Pun intended. The fragmented images, shot in German cities, are meant to suggest neighborhoods on a map,...or a brain.
My personal favorite among the "oceans" was Strawberries (forever fresh) by Lucas Blalock. A straightforward image of candied strawberries lying on bubble wrap appears to be perforated. The "holes" are actually superimposed images of "real" strawberries. Whether anything in a photograph is real is one of the questions that comes to my mind. Certainly not a mirror or a window.
If you missed my review of the Whitney you can go to it here.