The Metropolitan Museum of very important Art presents: C

Essay by geniebeansHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2006

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This show comes headlined as "the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to Ambroise Vollard... pioneer dealer, patron, and publisher who played a key role in promoting and shaping the careers of many of the leading artists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries." Vollard, according to my acquisitions from SVA's comprehensive art history courses, was a pivotal figure in the turn of the century Paris art scene, up until his death in 1939, taking ballsy financial risks in showing artist's like Cezanne and Van Gogh (post mortem of course), and going on to become the leading contemporary art dealer of that era.

In true post modernists fashion, I decided to bring an ex Pagan biker friend to the show for... color commentary. In retrospect, I've decided to omit his... colorful outbursts... and simply say he certainly made the experience... something else... Overall, this show of about 100 paintings, dozens of ceramics, sculpture, walls of prints, and portraits of...well...

Vollard (commissioned and published by... well.... himself!) told the story in the standard linear fashion, skipping over smaller players while trumpeting others.

One of the first things that struck me was at the opening in text on the wall of the show, which mentioned that Vollard in his later years published work "featuring surrealist character Pere Ubu" - yet does not mention the author by name. That author of course was Alfred Jarry - king of surrealist literature during the pre-WWI "Banquet Years" of France - and a spearheading figure in the early surrealist movement. The importance of Jarry's work - Ubu Roi - was completely skipped over, even though his role in art history is, or so I feel, equally as important as any of the artists in this show. The curators leave me wondering how the hell Vollard had a...