Pablo Picasso and His Collection in Brisbane

During my recent walkabout I was feeling artsick (kind of like being homesick, but it’s art that you miss) so I drove on to the city of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. It’s not a city that you would usually go to if you’re feeling artsick, but there was an exhibition of Picasso and his personal art collection on at the Gallery of Modern Art, so I had to go.

Here’s a blurb from the GoMa..
The exhibition features over 100 works from Picasso’s extraordinary collection plus more than 80 important works by the artist himself. A range of documentary photographs also feature.
‘Picasso & his collection’ includes paintings, drawings and prints by artists such as Chardin, Matisse, Renoir, Cézanne, Rousseau, Miró, Modigliani and Braque, as well as an extraordinary selection of Oceanic and African works.”

As much as I don’t like blockbuster exhibitions and the crowds they attract, I still have to go to them as they’re the only chance to see names like Matisse, Modigliani, Cezanne and Picasso in Australia. I saw the exhibition on the opening day too, so I expected to fight my way through the crowds.

I enjoyed most of the “Picasso & His Collection” exhibition, but I would have been just as happy on the day if there was just one painting on show; Still life with Oranges by Henri Matisse (click on the image below to see a larger view).

It’s easily one of the most beautiful paintings I have seen in the flesh. I love still lifes and I love paint, both of which Matisse nails in this painting.

Henri Matisse Still Life Painting
Henri Matisse Nature morte aux oranges ou Corbeille d’oranges (Still life with oranges or Basket of oranges) 1912 Oil on canvas 94 x 85cm RF 1973-72 Donation Picasso 1973–78 Collection: musée national Picasso, Paris Photo RMN © René-Gabriel Ojéda

There was also a couple nice Paul Cezanne landscape paintings. They weren’t paintings that I recognized, but you really only need a 10 inch square of brush strokes to appreciate Cezanne.

Paul Cezanne Landscape Painting
Château noir 1905Paul Cézanne Château noir 1905 Oil on canvas 74 x 93cm RF 1973-60 Donation Picasso 1973–78 Collection: musée national Picasso, Paris PhotoRMN © René-Gabriel Ojéda

And here’s a photo of Pablo Picasso in his studio with two wonderful little portraits by Henri Rousseau.

Pablo Picasso with Henri Rousseau Paintings
André Gomès 1951–97 Picasso dans son atelier du mas Notre-Dame-de-Vie, avec les deux portraits du Douanier Rousseau (Picasso in his studio at mas Notre-Dame-de-Vie, with two portraits by Douanier Rousseau) 1965 Gelatin silver print 20 x 17cm Collection: Documentation du musée Picasso, Paris

There’s more information on the Picasso exhibition over at the GoMa website.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Did you see the making and destruction of Lee Mingwei’s Gernika in sand. The artist created a sand replica of Picasso’s Guernica and then went about destroying the image.

  2. I agree about the matisse painting, it is just beautiful. Unfortunately when I went to see the Picasso exhibit in Washington DC I had to fight the crowds. It was worth it though, oh man, it was fabu. To see these paintings close up is a wonderful experience.

  3. I didnt see the sand version of Guernica being made or destroyed, but I did see it finished. It was quite impressive. I would love to see the real thing too ;-)

    And yeah, I tell myself that I get more from big glossy art books than art exhibitions, but I think I fool myself into thinking that because much of the art I love is outside of Australia!

    You forget about the crowds when youre standing in front of a great painting. I thought I had the room to myself when I was standing in front of the Matisse still life ;-)

    A world art trip should be next on my to do list!

  4. I love behind the scene photographs of artists. Wish I could see more on their website.

    The Los Angeles Museum of Art has a great collection online of artists in their studio. Including an entire section on Picasso.;dept=roth;method=subject

    There is also this series more about modern artists in their studio.

  5. When I get ‘artsick’ your blog is my first port of call.

  6. Nice to know Zooms. I probably should update the blog more often ;-)

  7. donaldfrazell says:

    You gotta get to NYC then. I love Matisse, his work and Picassos are the best, of the moderns anyway. Have seen retrospectives of Vangogh, and Gauguins, whose work is extraordinary, the lines and color, based on using secondaries and earth tones, is the best. Saw a complete watercolor exhibit of Cezannes, awe inspiring, at the same time the lemmings were all going to see Van Goghs Arles period survey at the Met. The room was practically empty the three times I saw it. Cezanne is the god of painting as Picasso and many others have said. All I have mentioned consider him the greatest, so do I.

    But have seen the Russians holdings of the Morozov and Schukin collections, with Dance before Nasturiums, and Red Dessert, the absolute most overpowering in color ever created, beyond even Monets waterlillies, they actually feel alive. And of course the dumb weakass california light artistes of the 70s and 80s, Disney crap. Would be nice on one of their rides.

    But no relationships, and that is what art is built with, it is all realationships, of line, color, and rhythm, the structure or compositins of the painting. Something we have forgotten, the work is built for complex emotions, and always sent in the direction, the subject just the motif. In our arrogance, we have either not learned,forgotten or been too arrogant to learn what art is, and how it is built.
    It is about passion, for life, and our triggering it in others, not the thing itself.

    Love Matisse Morroccans at MoMA, they have a huge room of his, the Dance they got just a rough draft for the final one, even at fullsize. But the other works are incredible too, and of course, Picassos Deimesoilles d’Avignon. Their collection upto WWII is extraordinary, and the rooms built perfectly, very intimate as well as airy, gets silly upstairs in the post war stuff, but then, the work is inferior after then, though some quality stuff in Pollock and DeKooning, and a few others.

    I know airfare is high now, but you gotta go, housing is even more expensive. My ex had family who lived on the upper west side, so went yearly, with a free place to stay. Helped greatly, and so got to see much of the city, but had been many times already, actually to hear the music, the jazz back in the day was even better, the best wre still alive, and in their prime. Most are dead now, jsut watched a documentary on fusion era Miles on BETjazz. In a Silent Way was his first and perhaps the pinnacle of his career, all downhill after that, never ahd the same level of musicians with him as before, and paid the price. Good stuff, but not the same sense of passion, awe, depth and power.

    Anyway, off to NYC with you. LA doesnt have much, LACMA weak, but the Norton Simon in Pasadena is nice. The Contemperoray is awful, but then I think almsot ALL contemporary is terrily weak and seove absorbed nonsense. Thier initial show has alot of great postwar stuff, tricked an Italian count out of his collection, then screwed him. Oh well, you know how to say F you in LA don’t you? Trust me.

  8. Donald, NYC is on the “to do” list. I would say that it’s a good time for me to travel to the states because your dollar is down, but I get paid in US dollars so it doesnt make much difference!

    I was also thinking of a road trip around America too. I should do that before we’re forced to use horse and buggy


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