Wednesday, October 10, 2007

'Til the Cows Come Home

Gertrude Stein

by Picasso

Gertrude Stein, 1906
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
Oil on canvas; 39 3/8 x 32 in. (100 x 81.3 cm)
Bequest of Gertrude Stein, 1946 (47.106)
© 1999 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Having read from this review: The Last Act (click)
By Michael Kimmelman

Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm

"We had to write about Alice and Gertrude. Had to write, in the Stein spirit, how Alice's cow jumped over Gertrude's moon. and other thoughts. Maybe Mussolini was a lesbian, for instance. There they were, in occupied France, two Jewish (sh!) ladies all alone, Alice with her cows, there in the countryside surrounded by the greatest art of the time, in that horrible time of war, Alice cooking crawfish, which is what makes for genius."

I think to myself, after reading that paragraph,

Or does it? I think Gertrude was like Pablo Picasso, arrogant, bull-headed, unable to have a cow with anyone but him/her self. No one else could bring it home. Narcissus at the waterhole. (see below) I know that mirror. I do remember when, all alone, I wandered from room to room in the Metropolitan Muse, given special permission, writing my dissertation, to wander, yes on my own, all alone, the guard just out of sight, into that entire room of Picassos-- to see Gertrude, to see what she hated. Until she realized it was the birth of cubism and modern painting (not to mention Surrealism), that painting of her, there in the Met, Gertrude Stein by Picasso, and I, staring into it like Narcissus staring at his image in water. And that is my homage to Alice. and to her ever milkable cow.


Salvador Dalí, SurrealistImage:Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Take a Long Look in.


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