Harlequin in Los Angeles: travel notes

Acting as a courier, travelling from one side of the planet to the other, there is always a bit of time to note down one’s key ideas about the journey, the works and the museums.

During the next four months, one of ‘our’ paintings — Picasso’s Harlequin — will be on show in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Having returned from my trip to Los Angeles to supervise the shipping, I’d like share one or two travel notes with you:

• The American curator couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate location in which to present the picture, in a room called ‘Fauvism, Cubism, Purism’.

• The presence of the Picasso in this museum in Los Angeles amounts to a symbolic reunion with former friends and fellow artists.

The ‘Fauvism, Cubism, Purism’ room in which Harlequin is on show alongside other works, including Picasso’s sculpture Centaur.

The painting engages in a dialogue with other works such as the portrait of Picasso’s friend Apollinaire, de Vlaminck, Frank Burty-Haviland, Modigliani and the magnificent collection of sculptures by Matisse.

• Another artistic presence in the room is Georges Braque, Picasso’s close companion throughout the vital period of Cubism.

• The middle of the room is occupied by a monumental Picasso sculpture of a centaur from 1955.

Reyes Jiménez
Preventive Conservation and Restoration

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