What a pleasure to attend the opening night of the Picasso "La Tauromaquia" showing at Bakehouse Art Complex here in Wynwood. The show features 26 aquatint etchings that depict the art of the bullfight and reflect an imminent element of Catalan culture. The works were presented from the Bank of America Collection in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
While the series was completed in 1957 as an homage to famed 18th Century matador "Pepe Illo", it is interesting to note that thematically the matador was always of interest to the artist. In fact, Picasso's very first painting, created in 1889, depicted a matador.
Viewing the works in person gives a sense of a series comparable to animation in a flipbook. It is incredible to see how the medium and stroke create a sense of motion and reflect the excitement of the event. There is a certain fluidity of technique and use of shadow and lighting that allow a viewer to imagine themselves in the speckled audience depicted above.
Lastly, it is also notable that Bakehouse Art Complex was an excellent venue to host this event. In addition to viewing the Picasso works, attendees were able to visit the various open studios of Bakehouse resident artists for further inspiration. Other art institutions in Miami should take note of the careful and thoughtful curation. It was a pleasant approach to "real art" to which there can be a dearth of in Miami at times.