The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Review - featuring Picasso's Creatures and Creativity

Photography By  Greg Autry **


Artwork  © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


July 2 & 7, 2015


Pablo Picasso ** `Woman Wearing Yellow Hat' 1962 - Oil on Canvas


The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) is a little Jewel of a Gallery, found in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The only place in Las Vegas where a Patron of the Arts, or a tourist from a small town, can come to see world class Art.  It gives many who come to Las Vegas, a chance  to see something they may never have an opportunity to see.




The Picasso Exhibition , Picasso -  Creatures and Creativity, is organized in Partnership with the Claude Picasso Archives and showcase's a variety of 43 works, including lithographs, linocuts, paintings, and rare plates.  There is a great Bio on the wall with a chronology of Picasso's life and work, along with an audio tour that I highly recommend on a first visit. If you're like me, one visit is never enough.  It was fantastic to see works that represented a succession of a theme, showing Picasso's  methods and technique. 




I think most people would know Pablo Picasso as a " Abstract" or "Modern" Artist. And while that is true, I love his early representational work. He was truly a marvelous representational draughtsman.  And that, in my mind, is what allowed him to develop his Abstract, and most famous Cubist works.



Pablo Picasso ** `El Greco's Portrait of a Man with a Ruff' 1962 - Color Linocut



Since moving to Las Vegas I've searched for high quality art venues. Low-and-behold I was treated to a delightful surprise after breakfast some weeks back. Meeting Janet Boyd and her Husband Larry Williams at the Bellagio Cafe I spotted a sign for an upcoming Exhibition of Picasso's, which would open July 3, and run through January 10, of 2016.




For me, as much as I wanted to see the art, I wanted to explore  the behind the scenes stuff. I thought it would be interesting for my readers also, to find out what goes into the selection of the art, and how a high-end show like this, is put together.  With that in mind I contacted the MGM PR people and was surprised and excited to be granted an Interview with the Executive Director of the Gallery, Ms. Tarissa Tiberti.





I was treated to a Pre- Media, behind the scenes showing, as the works were being uncrated and hung on the walls. I was "giddy" with excitement.  Executive Director Tarissa Tiberti is an Artist herself, with a Masters Degree in Sculpture.  Originally from Las Vegas, Tarissa was living in New York, working as an Artist and working in Galleries and Museums in New York, when the opportunity arose for the position at the BGFA.  Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and she has been with BGFA for almost 8 years now.




Tarissa told me that since MGM Properties acquired the Bellagio, the Gallery has become a Rotating Exhibition Space, meaning that it is a Salon for viewing Art, not for buying and selling art. She said that BGFA  operates almost as a Museum, with outreach programs that include the Clark County School District, with private days for school kids to come to the museum for free to expose them to high quality art and culture.  For the kids and schools who cannot come to the Museum, programs and art are arranged, to be taken to the schools. 




As an Artist herself, I think Tarissa has a unique eye for what it takes to display art so that visitors to the Gallery really get a chance to see something special.  Ms. Tiberti often curates the shows at BGFA, and for this show there was a special relationship with the Claude Picasso Archives (Claude Picasso is the Grandson of the Artist), in part thanks to the world renowned Picasso's Restaurant, which is located at the Bellagio Hotel.  The Executive Chef is Julian Serrano and the Head Sommelier is Robert Smith.





Executive Director of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Tarissa Tiberti,  worked with Chief Curator at the Picasso Archives, Tatyana Franck, who I was happy to meet and talk with about her views on the Art and the Show.  Tatyana lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, and  has now become the Director of the Musée de l'Elysée, a Museum founded in 1885 and entirely devoted to photography.   


Tatyana Franck

Pablo Picasso ** `Reclining Woman Reading' 1952 - Oil on Canvas




It is quite rare to have an opportunity to talk with an outside Curator of such a prestigious Show. Tatyana came to Las Vegas, from Lausanne, to oversee the final installation of the show. She was incredibly knowledgeable about Picasso the Man, as well as his Art.  Tatyana graciously led us [the media] through the exhibition, as paintings leaned against walls and chairs, along with photos and displays leaning against walls, and laying about  tables and the floor,  waiting for their rightful place on the walls. 


Tatyana Franck



Tatyana spoke eloquently about Picasso's techniques, and his processes. She noted a piece from 1946, as her personal favorite, and a rare 1938 piece that has never been seen publicly before.  She talked of the family members, their relationships, and the many wives and mistresses of the artist.  Most of all what I noted when asking questions was her unbridled passion and enthusiasm for the art. When a television reporter attempted to ask her how much the paintings were worth, she politely rebuffed him by explaining that the art is not about monetary value, but about the genius of the artist.   Well Done Tatyana!


Curator - Tatyana Franck

Pablo Picasso ** `Woman with a Yellow Necklace' 1946 - Oil on Canvas






The Valuation of Art, can be a subject for another Article. With the most recent New York Auction at Christies setting a record of 197 million dollars for a Picasso, I must say that as much as I love art, that's craziness!  Or, is it ?





Some interesting facts noted by Tatyana were that Picasso generally did not sign his work, that he meticulously dated each piece on the back. He also did not Title his works.  Tarissa Tiberti (BGFA) advised me that this is a Special Exhibition brought about by the Special relationship of the Bellagio Hotel and the Picasso Archives, and thus, the Show will only be seen here at the Bellagio. It will not travel elsewhere !




The following week, was the `Media Preview' and I got to go back and see the Exhibition fully hung, with the lights all so perfect and all the photos of and about Picasso in their rightful space on the walls. I took note at the time, the attention to detail in hanging and lighting each piece. The lighting calibrated for color and brightness for each piece of art.  





Media Night was a great success. The art hung, the wine flowing, and everyone enjoying a chance to see and be a part of a Space, and Art, that is true Genius.  I was very impressed with the Show as put on by Tarissa Tiberti and Tatyana Franck.  


Tarissa Tiberti and Tatyana Franck


I have it on good authority that the next show at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (2016) will be a photographic retrospective.  However,  I'm sworn to secrecy.   Tarissa Tiberti told me  that the Bellagio looks for Well known Artist and Art Movements.  Shows that will appeal to tourist and locals alike, and that are important to Las Vegas as well.  With Ms Tiberti at the helm I think the Bellagio Gallery of Fine art is in good hands and we are all the better for it. I'm excited to see what is next and happy that the children of Las Vegas have an opportunity to experience a world class art venue.




Lastly, I saw Chocolate on a Tray going around. Chocolate and Art, a great way to spend an evening.  Please check with the venue for Times and for ticket cost. Let me know what you think, after you have seen the exhibition yourself.


** Some Photos of Art provided by BGFA and used with permission.  The copyright of the original artwork remains the property of the Artist Estate and rightful owners, and may not be used or reproduced without written permission of the lawful owners.

© 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York







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