Quote of Note | Adam Gopnik

“My own theory about why Picasso agreed to do it [create a sculpture for Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Plaza in 1965] after many stops and starts, and despite being a totally unreliable and temperamental character, as all interesting artists are, is–and it’s buried in the Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill correspondence–is that somebody told him that Miró was doing something even bigger in a related space in Chicago. And Picasso really was the Michael Jordan of modern art, not just In the sense of being incredibly accomplished but in the sense of being utterly driven by competitive fire and an unrealized sense of grievance at every turn, that somebody else would outdo him or do better than him. And I suspect that played a significant role in getting him to do it.”

-Writer Adam Gopnik on the Chicago Picasso (pictured), in a recent talk at the Art Institute of Chicago, where “Picasso and Chicago“–the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years–is on view through May 12.