Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lil Picard Exhibition

There is a charming and quite marvelous small retrospective of the artist, writer and art world legend Lil Picard now on view at the Grey Art Gallery at NYU. I should note here that I knew Lil as did ...practically everyone who was active in the art world of the 1950’s and onward and I found her to be a very nice and interesting woman. She was born in Germany in 1899, wow and died in 1994 so she was nearly 100 years old when she passed wow. She had a life that could make a good film, escaping from Hitler’s Germany, arriving in New York City with her second husband Dell, who was a sweet and charming man, Lil became a designer of hats, and the lover of many. She was soon involved with the New York Art Scene, and did happenings and theatre pieces along with her collages, assemblages and paintings and wrote extensively on the New York Art Scene for German publications. Lil was also a strong feminist, political activist and like most of us was involved in the Anti-War Vietnam Movement. I recall seeing many of her art works at her apartment when I would visit her, but I really got to know her work a few years after her death when an art appraiser I knew asked me to work with him on her estate. There were tons of pieces or so it seemed and it took many weeks to measure and catalog each work, and sometimes the task took its toll on me, making me depressed and anxious. The show which is very nicely put together features probably the best pieces by her, and happily the show is not top heavy with her paintings which I thought the weakest of her art. I always liked her self taught looking assemblages and collages which are messy and full, and there are many of these in the show including her pointed cosmetic ones, all nicely installed. These are works that you want to pat on the head, maybe give a pinch to the cheek and a nice big hug. The show is on until July 10th.

photo of me and Lil Picard taking part in World Works 1970


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