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At Gagosian Gallery

Apr. 18, 2011

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The paparazzi were barred from the opening of “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou,” Apr. 14-June 25, 2011, the third installment of Gagosian Gallery’s magisterial series of Pablo Picasso shows overseen by scholar John Richardson.

But both glitterati and art celebrities showed up all the same to take in the six-gallery display of more than 80 works dating from 1927 to 1940, including works never before seen in the U.S. along with prize masterpieces on loan from the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The show was co-curated by Picasso heir Diana Widmaier Picasso and organized by Gagosian Gallery director Valentina Castellani, and is the third in the gallery’s series of Picasso exhibitions.

Bold-faced names at the opening included actress Kim Cattrall, who graciously paused outside to pose for a photographer’s picture, REM frontman and art lover Michael Stipe, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays King Henry VIII in the much-mocked Showtime series The Tudors. Salman Rushdie was also there, actually looking at the art.

Artists Julian Schnabel -- our very own Picasso -- as well as Kiki Smith and Mark Kostabi were on hand. Visitors included an inordinate number of curators with Picasso specialties, including the Met’s Gary Tinterow, Jeffrey Weiss of the Gugg, MoMA’s Ann Temkin, Carolyn Lachner, Lichtenstein Foundation director Jack Cowart. Charles Stuckey, who is compiling the Yves Tanguy catalogue raisonné, was on hand, too.

“It’s sensationally exciting,” said Kiki Smith. “Clear color.”

“Why do openings on West 21st Street have more oomph than ones in museums?” Ann Temkin wondered aloud.

And Larry Gagosian was keeping a close eye on the proceedings. The gallery quickly filled up, and he gave the order to close the door, and the line to get in stretched down the street. He’s got another hit on his hands.

"Picasso and Marie-Therese: L'Amour Fou," Apr. 14-June 25, 2011, at Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, New York, N.Y. 10011

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