Tête de trois quarts (Head in Three-Quarter View), 1907 (Haas collection, not on view)
After listening to the Mellon lectures on Picasso, I went looking for his work in San Francisco’s very own museums. Although they often tout themselves as world class, Picasso’s works are pretty scarce. The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts has a decent selection of his graphic works but good luck in getting an appointment to view them. SF Moma owns thirteen works but only one, a rather unimpressive 1944 still life, is on view. If I hadn't seen Picasso's works in other locations, I would have a hard time believing the hype, given the lack of significant works on display in our local museums.
What a sad end to a fascinating life. I remember being fixated on Kung Fu when I was a teenager and when Carradine's character (FINALLY) made love to a woman, I nearly fainted with the excitement. I realize now that the philosophy was cheesy and the acting probably not very good but that show had a profound effect on me. The Chinese were not portrayed as idiotic stereotypes, speaking pigin English and my idealistic young heart appreciated that. I've never wanted to rewatch the show because some things should just remain sacred, especially when you've watched them on the cusp of puberty. Nothing will grab your heart (or hormones in quite the same way) but I've been fascinated by China ever since. He made a couple of good movies about the depression, "Boxcar Bertha", with his then lover, Barbara Hershey and another about Woody Guthrie, but his career had more that its share of ups and downs. I never, in a thousand years, could have imagined that he'd end up dead in a Bangkok hotel. His family had plenty of demons as well as talent in their heritage and I guess that they caught up with him at the end.