Olga is reduced to an animalistic abstraction, a hard-edged monster with a jagged screaming mouth; Marie-Therese is a floating dream of lavender curves and post-coital sensuality, the decorative apotheosis of the Surrealist unconscious.
The beautiful, intensely intelligent, increasingly distraught Dora Maar inspired an angular style that gives Expressionism a Cubist infrastructure and recalls the vibrant striations of the "Demoiselles" period.
Her thesis, while not entirely new, is that Picasso's images of weeping women were not inspired by the anguish he caused Marie-Therese or Dora Maar, but by his own anguish about the Spanish Civil War and its slaughter of innocent civilians.
This approach makes the victimization of women less completely central to Picasso's greatness, and places that greatness in a less isolated, more historical context. Freeman also reproduces works made by Julio Gonzalez and Joan Miro for the Spanish Pavilion that involved the motif of women in distress.)Also implicit in Ms.
Life and art are never very far apart, but within the 20th century they may never be closer than in the work of Pablo Picasso.
From the beginning to the end of his prodigious career, his intimates -- friends, dealers, children -- figured frequently in his art, and depictions of women, predominantly his wives and mistresses, form its very core.
Freeman's treatment is the possibility that the tragedy of the war, especially after the bombing of Guernica, moved Picasso to create an image of female suffering that was deeper and more sympathetic and humane than the animalistic screaming head of Olga, one that he blended with the features of Dora Maar and Marie-Therese. Lieberman has more than doubled the number of works exhibited, often by adding rather conventionally realistic prints or drawings of Picasso's wife and mistresses.
Some additions are simply eccentric, if not a bit malicious.
For the general public, it has extra amounts of the usual Picasso fireworks: love and passion, anger and catharsis, empathy and despair, spelled out in a series of powerful, often richly worked paintings and drawings.
Throughout the show, one can see Picasso's passions wax and wane, as new love generates new painting styles.