All images from the Gagosian website
The dozens of brilliantly rough and ready paintings in the Mosqueteros exhibition are from a brief few years near the end of Picasso's life. It might be easy to dismiss the rarely shown late work as the elderly Picasso simply rehashing his own conventions -- that is until you actually see a group of the paintings. Of course his "conventions" became the language of Modern painting. So it can indeed be difficult to get past our patent familiarity -- the history, the iconic identity of these works as "Picassos". But once we see them not as logos but as paintings -- raw and immediate -- they look as if they were done yesterday -- except that nobody now can paint like this. There is almost nothing rehashed or complacent here -- virtually every painting in this extensive selection contains some probing element of surprise, protean improvisation, direct pictorial invention. This is an absolutely magnificent show -- at Gagosian on 21st Street through June 6.