Los Angeles

“Picasso Sculpture & Three Major Acquisitions”

Felix Landau Gallery

The majority of the Picasso sculptures in this show are tiny bronze figures made around 1945 in limited edition casts. They are all cute little confections from the artist who, since the Second World War, seems to have become a novelty factory, mass producing statusy knick-knacks and expensive autographs. This point is painfully highlighted by the inclusion in this show of two early (1901 and 1905) bronze heads that relate to the artist’s painting of the time, and maintain a particularly beautiful sculptural quality. The small 1901 male head has a special formal presence unusual for the period. The 1945 figures, by comparison are simply Picassoesque pastiche.

The three major acquisitions include a large bronze Manzu Cardinal that looks strangely like some sort of ballistics missile. It is well made and attractive if one happens to be interested in Princes of the Church. There is also a very lovely, very typical La-chaise female torso that is easily the finest piece in the show, and an unfinished, large, Schiele oil of two sitting figures that is of more historic than artistic merit. The intimate installation of the Picasso sculpture was particularly pleasant.

Don Factor