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Picasso. Still raising eyebrows. Still raising the bar. Still a powerhouse.
Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” sold at auction in 2013 for $142 million. A mere two years later, this figure incredibly seems almost anemic. That is, when pitted against the May 11, 2015, Christie’s NY, auction of Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version O),” 1955 for $179,365,000. This marks a new world record for any work of art sold at any auction.
John Sloan (American, American Realism, 1871–1951): Music in the Plaza (Plaza, Evening, Santa Fe), 1920. Oil on canvas, 26 x 32 inches. New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Image: © The New Mexico Museum of Art. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.
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Beyond our individual mortal boundaries, beyond poetry, almost beyond imagining, is this gift of hundreds of ice age paintings from the hands of our forbears 35,000 years ago or so: The Chauvet Cave, France: Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche. And now, thanks to Werner Herzog’s acclaimed 2010 film, also known as the “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010) 3D documentary film by Werner Herzog.
These oldest known images to date, were rendered by “modern” humans, like us, living within the past 200,000 years. Such a lengthy expanse of time to be, in the end, as ephemeral as a single breath. These are powerful images, deeply moving, poignant. Miraculously preserved, they serve as custodians of our humanity. They drive our inquiry into ourselves — our fundamental desire to know life around us and of us — backward in time, inward and forward.
The Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche, truly a ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams,’ offers compelling, powerful art at its most magnificent.