Published: February 1, 2011
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will mount what it considers to be the most important exhibition in its history from February 19 to May 15. “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso Paris,” will be at the VMFA, the only East Coast venue on its international seven-city tour. “Picasso” is co-organized by the Musée National Picasso Paris and the VMFA. There will be a gala preview on February 16.
Drawn from the collection of the Musée Picasso, the largest and most significant repository of the artist’s work in the world, this exhibition represents every major artistic period of Pablo Picasso’s (1881‱973) eight-decade career. It includes 176 works from Picasso’s personal collection †art that he kept for himself with the purpose of shaping his own legacy.
In addition to showcasing some of Picasso’s most outstanding works, the exhibition tells a compelling story about the development of the artist’s career, his artistic inspirations and profound impact on Twentieth Century art.
This unique opportunity has been made possible because the Musée Picasso is closed for renovations until 2012, thus allowing for a global tour of this full-scale survey.
Acting almost as a curator for his art, Picasso kept some of his most iconic pieces from each phase of his life, including the Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism, the return to Classicism, Surrealism and his later work. These pieces are in the collection of the Musée Picasso.
Friends, lovers and artists who influenced Picasso play a seminal role in the exhibition. The exhibition will showcase moments and art that defined Picasso’s early career, including a deathbed portrait of the artist’s close friend Carlos Casagemas. His friend’s suicide partially influenced Picasso’s famed Blue Period.
Portraits of his mistresses feature his muses in various emotional states and works ranging from studies for his early pieces to some of the last works show his connection to, and often competition with, other notable artists such as Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne and Diego Velázquez. The exhibition includes examples of almost every medium in which Picasso worked †oil on canvas and panel, cast bronze, carved wood, assemblages of found materials, watercolors, drawings in pastel, charcoal, pencil and ink, various printmaking techniques and illustrated books.
While Picasso contributed to and even inspired countless movements, he and Georges Braque co-invented a new movement: Cubism, which revolved around the deconstruction and reconstruction of figures and objects on two-dimensional surfaces or in space. The exhibition includes classical examples of Analytic Cubism.
Born in the southern Spanish city of Málaga in 1881, Picasso’s towering reputation spanned a long and productive career that began at a young age. After studying art in Barcelona †where he entered the School of Fine Arts at age 13 †and Madrid, in 1900 he traveled to Paris⁴he city whose art and culture would greatly influence him and where he would first make his mark. By the time of his death in 1973 he had created 50,000 works in many different artistic mediums.
Throughout his long life, Picasso was constantly reinventing himself and searching for new sources of inspiration. This exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand the depth and breadth of Picasso’s genius.
Curated by Anne Baldassari, chairman, Musée National Picasso Paris, the exhibition has traveled to Athenaeum Art Museum, Helsinki; Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; Seattle Art Museum; after the VMFA it will go to Fine Art Museums of San Francisco.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is at 200 N Boulevard. For additional information, www.VMFA.Museum .Richmond or 804-340-1400.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm