I saw these two paintings installed side-by-side at the Yale University Art Gallery this past weekend. At first glance, it’s two Picasso paintings from the 1930s-1940s. Or is it? What do you think? Do we have two Picassos here? Or one? Or are neither of these Picasso, but rather other artists working “in the style of” …?
I’ll be honest, at first glance, I thought they were both by Picasso. But in reality, the painting on the left is “Untitled (Head),” 1932-34, by Arshile Gorky. The painting on the right is indeed by Pablo Picasso, and is titled “Seated Woman” from 1947. The curator certainly must have wanted to get museum visitors thinking and wondering by pairing these together, and the explanation for the Gorky is as follows (from the wall mount description): “The work echoes Pablo Picasso’s deconstructed renditions of the human body. At the same time, Untitled (Head) mixes this European Modernism with Arshile Gorky’s native Armenian culture. The basic features and almond-shaped eye are not unlike those in ornamented stylized wall paintings, manuscripts, and stone sculpture that the artist could have seen as a child in Armenia.”