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Picasso and Warhol, but not where you expect 'em

December 13, 2007|Lea Lion

TRACKING down a Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol in this town isn't as easy as you might imagine. Sure, you could check out Picasso's "Weeping Woman With Handkerchief" at LACMA or view Andy Warhol's photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Getty. That is, if the artworks happen to be on display.

Even assuming the best, you still have to contend with the crowds -- not to mention the security guards, whom you will surely encounter if you happen to lean in too close.

But now, two local gallery exhibits offer an intimate encounter with works by Picasso and Warhol -- and, if it's in the budget, you can bring one home with you too.

Considered one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, Picasso created thousands of works during his eight-decade career -- not exactly easy to summarize. "Pablo Picasso: Prints & Drawings, 1901-1971," a tightly edited exhibit at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in Brentwood, looks to hit all of the major periods.

Examples include "Le Couple," a 1901 charcoal drawing; a 1908 proto-Cubist etching; and a still-life that was done in 1913-1914, when Picasso was immersed in Cubism.

"Ordinarily these kinds of exhibitions are found not in galleries, but in museums," says gallery director Lee Spiro. "This is a fairly comprehensive survey of the development of Picasso's work, which is to a great extent the story of the development of modern art."

Although Picasso is synonymous with the advent of Cubism, his artistic explorations did not stop there. One of the exhibit's later works -- "Bacchanale," a 1959 linocut -- returns to what Spiro referred to as "a classical sensibility."

Meanwhile, another 20th century master is revisited in "Andy Warhol: Portraits," an exhibit of 11 graphite-on-paper drawings of well-known personalities such as actress Ingrid Bergman and fashion designer Sonia Rykiel, at Bobbie Greenfield Gallery in Bergamot Station.

Perhaps even more provocative than Warhol's elegant drawings of actresses and fashionistas, however, are two images of former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose.

"What fascinates me about Warhol's fascination with celebrities is that he was able to identify not only our interest, but that the story goes on," explains curator Bobbie Greenfield, who pointed out the ongoing controversy surrounding Rose's ban from the Hall of Fame.

In light of today's celebrity-crazed culture, Warhol's obsession with fame seems almost like a prophecy, she adds.

"He was able to identify what consumes us," Greenfield says. "That is the brilliance of the man."

-- Lea.Lion@latimes.com

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'PABLO PICASSO: PRINTS & DRAWINGS, 1903-1971'

WHERE: Leslie Sacks Fine Art, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., L.A.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Ends Jan. 14

PRICE: Free

INFO: (310) 820-9448, lesliesacks.com

'ANDY WARHOL: PORTRAITS'

WHERE: Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., B6, Santa Monica

WHEN: Ends Jan. 12

PRICE: Free

INFO: (310) 264-0640, bobbiegreenfield.com

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