PICASSO & ROZEAL
United by the common theme of mining art history and fusing imagery, this presentation of works shows the differing interpretation of the human form. Picasso is often said to have exploited and “thrown away” his models once the love affair was over him. (To such an extent that he is often quoted as saying; “There are 2 types of women: goddesses and doormats.”) However, when he was in the throes of love, there are not many more tender or beautiful depictions of women. In this sampling of works spanning 1931 to 1962, the simplified black lines and monochromatic shading of the multiple printing processes produce remarkable portraits and narratives. His artistic genius is never in doubt. The seven works from the “Suite Vollard” (1930-37) give an intimate look into Picasso’s creative mind as each represents a theme taken from the history of art making and executed in a classical style within the walls of his studios. For example, the reclining nude, the model posing for the artist, the model and the sculpture, and the Minotaur and the young girl.
Rozeal utilizes an array of references from the history of art to examine and critique the stereotypes and prejudices that have existed for centuries. She expertly transforms the centuries-old Japanese print making style of ukiyo-e to create a modern version of the geisha, kabuki, and samurai within today’s hip-hop culture. She therefore gives agency to the historical and contemporary persons that are frequently treated with intense disrespect and prejudices. Her multi-media paintings and prints portray these Japanese men and women of the traditional geisha, kabuki, or samurai appropriating the clothing, accessories, and activities of Hip-Hop culture; for example, kimonos with afros or swords with turntables. Like Picasso, her imagery is rooted in the figural to relate a narrative. Unlike Picasso, she praises and honors her subjects. Rozeal’s work pictures the highest of esteem for these cultures by converging their customs and traditions culminating in a complimentary and exalted appreciation.
About the Artists
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was born in Malaga, Spain and spent nearly his entire adult life in France. He was simultaneously a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and theatre designer. Some call him the most influential artist of the twentieth century as he pioneered (along with Georges Braque) the fracturing of the two-dimensional picture plane to create the Cubist style, which then influenced nearly every period of art from the mid-twentieth century to today.
Rozeal is a native of Washington, D.C. (b. 1966). She earned her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from Yale University in 2002. Her works have been featured in exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum, MOCA Cleveland, and The Studio Museum. This list of institutions continues to expand. Additionally, her artwork is included in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, National Gallery of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, and Rubell Family Collection, among others.