Picasso and Seattle

“I understand why some people enjoy having separate vacations” was G’s words to me as I called to let him know I was on my way home from my weekend trip to Seattle.

I guess I should back up.  A few months ago, he made a trip up to Seattle to see a friend.  On that trip, he bought me two passes to go see the Picasso exhibit currently showing at the Seattle Art Museum.  He knows I like art – this exhibit is a very comprehensive collection of Picasso’s work – and it would force me to take a weekend away without him or the kids.

So, a month ago, I planned the weekend.  A friend who commutes from Seattle each week was going to go with me.  Yeah, and have some of that kind of fun too.  Woo-hoo! Art, some sexy fun, and time away with a friend – a great combo.

We met up at about noon, ate lunch, and made our way to get the Picasso tickets.  Because it is so popular, they were issuing tickets for the exhibit for certain times.  At noon on Saturday, the earliest tickets were 7:20pm.  They close at 9pm right now, so their last tickets are at 7:40pm.  We just squeaked in to see it.  We got our tickets, then wandered downtown Seattle.

I am a wanderer – not a shopper or a thorough must-see-everything sort of person.  Thankfully, my friend is the same way.  So we wandered – through Pike Street Market, along the piers, and to the Sculpture park.

Visiting the sculpture park with him was a hoot.  I have taken several art history classes as well as art classes where understanding art has been covered. I have more than your average knowledge, but modern art – abstract sculpture – installation pieces? Forget it.  I think I roll my eyes or make snide comments about most of it – but that is also stemming from the names.

For example, a neat sculpture called Schubert Sonata.  The sculpture that made us go – huh? How did they get a particular sonata about something that looks like a Chinese lion going through the sky?

Or this unnamed sculpture of a bench, a box and a lawn chair.  Yeah.  While I applaud the creativity of making the box and chair look like someone left them there, it made me laugh more than it made me think.

Then, we both learned something important.  Two kinksters looking at art can lead to some funny discussions.  Bunyan’s Chess, for example, is three logs suspended on an apparatus that looks like it should be used for some suspension rope bondage.  Both of us had the thought, read the description, and laughed at the same time as we admitted what we thought it should be called.

Don’t get me wrong. There were some neat pieces of art.  I posted on5 yesterday – and there are several others including this huge installation of 5 – 14ft high steel waves. The installation was called Wake.  It was quite nice.  And to walk through the wake was pretty neat as you understood the sheer size of them.  And you had to admire the amount of work that went into creating this one.  It was quite impressive.

We wandered some more – and finally went back to the hotel room where I was taunted for missing the view from my room.  For the record, I totally expected him to tweak me for it.  Hell, in his shoes, I would have done the same thing.  After some fun that likely made my noisy neighbors wonder what the hell was going on, we wandered to get a beer before the exhibit.

The thing I like about this friend is that he and I can gave great conversations over beer.  We talked about art. We talked about being the perceived city boy on a family farm.  We talked about just stuff.  I love having friends where the conversation flows easily. I also like friends I can grope in a bar too – but that’s for a different post.

We were almost late to get into Picasso.  Thankfully we showed up when there wasn’t a line to get into the exhibit for our appointed time.  We decided to forgo the audio tour given they were in hot demand, and neither of us wanted to feel compelled to go at a pace dictated by a machine.


Amazing. They grouped his work chronologically meaning you saw it evolve into the cubism he became famous for.  And the work was in all sorts of mediums – from ink to cante crayon to oil to bronze – the diversity was amazing.

As we worked our way through the crowded galleries, we started being able to see what his more abstract paintings were depicting many times before reading the title.  The curators who put this exhibit together did a fabulous job giving the audience that ability.  And in each room, high on the wall, was a quotation from Picasso about art in general.

One of the things I love about seeing art in person is seeing the reworks up close. Seeing where maybe they had sketched then changed their mind. I bought, as I always do, the exhibit book – and despite our good photography, that was lost in the photographs.  I like seeing that the artist is human – that there are imperfects they didn’t worry too hard about covering.

As we made our way to one of the final rooms of the exhibit, we were looking at painting when I felt his hand on my back then in my hair.  He pushed it out of the way at first, then kept going up to the point where he grabbed it, just as I like it, in the middle of the room. It was all I could do to not melt right there.

We hit the last room just as they announced it was 10 minutes to closing.  Both of us were surprised we had been there as long as we had.  While I love art exhibits, even I hit a point where I’m on overload.  The last stuff is never remembered as well as the first.  This time – it was not the case. Maybe it was the company – the fact I wasn’t going backwards to catchup with someone.  I have decided though that this will be the person I attend these things with in the future – our pace is the same – so it was more enjoyable being able to talk to someone who wasn’t asking to slow down repeatedly.

The rest of our night was a late dinner than bed.

It was nice.
It was relaxing.
It was fun.
It was a great vacation away from the stresses of home.

The next morning after he departed, I wandered to go get G some crumpets, which, for the record, is a shop closed for several months.  Instead, I got him cheese.  Then I drove home – listening to music – and smiling about my weekend away.

Having separate vacations can be nice.
I don’t disagree with it at all.
Definitely will have to do it again – and with the same company, I hope.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a great trip.
    Glad you had fun. 🙂

    Where did they get the pieces for the exhibit, do you know? I was just curious.

  2. ChrisYYC says:

    The world is incredibly small these days. When we were visiting the de young museum in SF for their post impressionist exhibit we saw the promo for this exhibit which is travelling there in the summer. I am starting to plan a return trip for the picasso exhibit.

    You were right to reject the audio tour. We subscribed to it for the impressionists and were disappointed. I don’t need someone else’s opinion when it comes to art. My 11 yr old son shut his off on the third or 4th painting. However, my 7 yr old had to listen to each blurb.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Emmy says:

    MR – This is why I get the exhibit book. 🙂 Apparently PIcasso’s estate donated like 3600 of his original works to the French government. Then his widow years later donated more after her death. They created a museum for them. These are pieces from that collection. Seattle worked closely for 2 years with the director of that other museum in an attempt to get the exhibit. They are the first to have it.

    Chris – You will not be disappointed with the Picasso exhibit if you make the trip to SF to see it. I have done audio tours before – and found them quite interesting. But, I discover that by the end, I’m a bit of a zombie as I am forced to go at their pace. Too much of an overload for me.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.