Is the timepiece in Pablo Picasso's "Woman with a Watch" simply a marker that distinguishes this from the prolific artist's many other paintings of his muse, Marie-Therese Walter? Or does it refer to the time he steals away from his wife to spend with his lover?
You can ponder the question at Pérez Art Museum Miami, where the painting is on display through Oct. 16. The artwork, on loan from New York - Palm Beach collector Emily Fisher Landau, comes from 1932 — a year so important in the artist's work that London's Tate Modern has devoted its summer exhibition to the period.
In "Watch," you won't find the sharp-edged forms from Picasso's earlier Cubist works. The images of Walter are softer and more voluptuous, notes PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans.
The work does include the two-sided face Picasso often showed in his portraits of Walter. Maybe, says Sirmans, "he's seeing things from different sides. Or maybe it's a reference to the two faces that we choose to present to the world."
Throughout Picasso's many stylistic periods, "one thing that stays constant in his work is playfulness," says Sirmans. In other words, he liked to have a good time — making him a perfect artist for Miami.
IF YOU GO