Drink To Me: Picasso 40 Years After Death

Jessica L. Porter
Jan 26, 2014 6:52PM

Porter Contemporary is pleased to announce Drink to Me, a group exhibition highlighting contemporary artists’ views of Pablo Picasso opening with an artists’ reception on April 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM and continuing through May 18, 2013.

The exhibition’s timing coincides with the 40th anniversary of Picasso’s death, April 8, 1973, a date of importance shared with gallery director and owner, Jessica L. Porter who shares her birthday with his date of passing. Porter has planned on hosting and curating this exhibition since opening Porter Contemporary seven years ago. Her academic pursuits focused on France during the time Picasso spent working there and she is interested in seeing how contemporary artists view Pablo Picasso 40 years later. “The response from artists has been truly inspirational and fascinating to see the diversity of viewpoints on one man in a creative context” says Porter. The title of the exhibition is drawn from Picasso’s final words "Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can't drink any more”.

The exhibition will include approximately twenty artists from around theStill Life (2013) by Jeff Huntington, magazine clippings on canvas, 30" x 26" world who are interpreting their vision of Picasso whether good, bad or indifferent. The exhibition will not be a re-creation of Picasso’s works but rather an interpretation of them by contemporary artists. Highlights from the exhibition include two works inspired by Picasso’s own words, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal”. Jason Bryant’s portrait painting of Picasso (above) is titled the same and painted as a dual portrait—“stealing” imagery by a staged photograph of him taken in 1948 and from the artist VCJ whose dragon Bryant has painted wrapping around Picasso’s arm. The second is a still life created by Jeff Huntington (right) from magazine clippings harnessing Picasso’s early collage works of appropriating imagery. Drink to Me also includes works inspired from his artwork rather than his words like Catherine Tafur’s cubist inspired painting “Guitar”, Jan Huling’s beaded “Picasso’s Bull’s Head” sculpture, and Anne Marchand’s abstract work “Blue Curtain” (below) hallmarking geometrical shapes, reduction of planes and monochromatic color.   

Jessica L. Porter