Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

What the VMFA and Picasso Can Teach Us

Roger Carroll, musician par excellence,  passed along this quote from Pablo Picasso: Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” He might have been writing of  elegance. But, of course, he was. It remains to be seen how elegantly his works are displayed at our museum. I can only imagine a roaring success.

Tonight, Mrs. E. and I will attend a member’s preview of Picasso’s “personal collection” showcased at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond hosts the only east coast showing of the exhibit. I believe that we’ve seen many of the works before, as we used to visit the Musée National Picasso. But it will be nice to see them within walking distance of the Manse; he is one of my favourite artists.  Dinner will surely follow and what we should eat is a paella Valenciennes, which his lover Fernande Olivier, might have made. Failing that we’ll head for our favourite bistro and play Lost Generation.

I wonder if I will wear a tie. If art is the elimination of the unnecessary, and the tie is strictly ornamental, what does that say? Later in life, Picasso looked distinctly casual. Life at the beach will do that to you.

This weekend, enjoy the simple pleasures. Eliminate all but those things that most delight you.  Host a found meal in honour of the expats who became the moderns. Play some jazz music. Drink wine by candlelight. Debate art and design. And maybe try a paella.

Back next week with something sartorial. I hope.

Happy Thoughts!

8 thoughts on “What the VMFA and Picasso Can Teach Us

  1. It was madness, packed cheek to jowl! Impressive. I’hadn’t seen the vast majority of the paintings and sculptures. Perhaps 4 altogether!

    CallMeAl, I think you may be on to something…

  2. We happened to see Picasso–The Early Years exhibit at the National Museum of Art (DC) many years ago, when my children were young. I packed sketch pads for them, and they took the cue. Congratulations to Richmond for landing this exhibit!

    May I add to your list of simple pleasures, Mr. E., Belgian Beer. We have a brasserie in town that specializes in this broad range of fantastic ale, along with perfect pomme frittes, and I must say, we are hooked! A simple, easy evening out is such a luxury!

  3. Picasso had many very good and memorable quotes. My favourite is, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

    I agree about eleminating the superfluous, BUT, then more attention must be given to what is remaining. The clothes must fit well and be becoming and of good quality. And one might argue that when polar fleece and sweats predominate, perhaps there has been too much elimination. Perhaps a tie that is a solid colour, will strike a compromise.

    Chanel herself was famous for paring down, but of course these people often contradict themselves, and she could pile on jewellery like a fortune teller.

  4. What Picasso should have said is “My” art is removing the…
    I applaud the bravado, it made him what we love, but to say Klimt wasn’t an artist, or his work not art is nonsense.
    If you like your tie, wear it… unless you are working on farm machinery, then take that dangerous noose off.

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