Picasso Museum of Barcelona

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  • Picasso's passion for drawing

    • Date 09/4/2006 to 07/5/2006
    • The 'Picasso. The passion for drawing' exhibition will be officially presented at a press conference. This is the first of the major exhibitions included in the PICASSO2006BCN project - a special homage being paid to the artist by the city of Barcelona to mark the centenary of his first return visit from Paris, his stay in Gósol as well as the 125th anniversary of his birth.

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      Following a chronological format, dating from 1894 to 1972, this display gathers together over 200 works - drawings, paintings and sculptures - and has been organised by the Musée Picasso in Paris, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux de Paris and the Museu Picasso in Barcelona under the direction of Dominique Dupuis-Labbé, curator at the Paris museum; the works were previously shown to mark the French museum's 20th anniversary. The group of drawings that make up the exhibition - chosen from amongst the more than five hundred works that comprise the Musée Picasso's collection - allows visitors to capture the essence of the artist's journey, as well as bearing witness to his immense technical quality as well as to his most intimate circles, forming as they do part of a legacy he always treasured. The tour through the exhibition reveals his experimentation within art twinned with the origins and evolution of his essential works. It also makes clear that the human form lay at the heart of Picasso's work. Picasso's passion for drawing dates back to his childhood, just as his mother - María Picasso López - recounts in the anecdote of Picasso's first words, which were said to be cil cil, to ask for a pencil. The childhood passion never waned throughout his long life as Picasso drew incessantly and laid his emotions and creations bare on paper, just as he would have done with a personal diary, creating characters like a writer. Drawing therefore plays a vital role in the origins and development of Picasso's artistic career: 'When I was twelve I could draw like Rafael, but it has taken me my whole life to learn to paint like a child.'

  • Roger De La Fresnaye 1885-1925. Cubism and tradition

    • Date 02/3/2006 to 05/6/2006
    • Over the last few years, various studies and exhibitions have emphasised the historical role played by artists who Kahnweiler termed the «minor cubists» and whom art historians have relegated to the rank of extras or walk-on parts.

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      Even though there is a growing interest in these «Salon cubists », Roger de La Fresnaye (Le Mans, 1885-Grasse, 1925) is yet to find the place he deserves, perhaps due to his adherence to a more classical tradition of painting. Those who have shown an interest in his work have highlighted his very personal language that forms a synthesis between early Cézanne and the cubist conceptions, as well as his capacity to associate himself with avant-garde movements without that meaning having to adopt a dogmatic position. La Fresnaye adapts cubist proposals to his own personal style: he continues to give prominence to theme, uses colour to structure space and provide rhythm to the masses and is never reticent to translate his emotions into his work

      His deep sense of culture and his unceasing inner reflection about his own work incite him to seek out the language he considers most appropriate. «His technique derived from everywhere; he took ideas from the fauns, from the nègres, from the cubists, but always with his own originality left intact. Nothing else resembles a La Fresnaye», said Pierre Levy, one of his most enthusiastic collectors. This review of his work – the first major one since 1950 – is the result of an artistic collaboration between the Musée de Tessé de Le Mans and the Museu Picasso de Barcelona.

  • The Museum Collection. A new look

    • Date Until 07/1/2007
    • As part of the programme of events scheduled for PICASSO2006BCN, the special homage being paid by Barcelona to the artist on the centenary of his first return to the city from Paris, his time in Gósol and the 125th anniversary of his birth, the Museu Picasso presents "The Museu Collection.

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      A Fresh Look". This exceptional presentation of the Museu's permanent collection has been enriched by loans from private collections, and the addition of the painting Fairground stall (1900), the Museu's latest acquisition, which will be put on public display for the first time.

      The exhibition, following the standard distribution of the permanent collection, plots a chronological course from 1894 to 1972, although on this occasion it includes a total of 383 works (73 more than usual) and is divided into 13 areas which, in addition to highlighting the special links between the artist and the city of Barcelona, display the works produced during his time in Gósol, and his Cubist creations. As a whole, the works presented here allow us to capture the essence of the artist's career, and in particular his connection with our city. The path taken by this new presentation, alongside his early childhood, his first arrival in Barcelona, the artistic circles which he was to frequent in the city, his first trip to Paris and the Blue Period, also features, thanks to the loans received, works belonging to his time in Gósol and his Cubist period which cannot normally be seen at the museum.

  • The Picassos from Antibes

    • Date 06/6/2006 to 15/10/2006
    • The Museu Picasso in Barcelona presents the exhibition, «The Picassos from Antibes». This latest proposal, part of the year-long programming of PICASSO2006BCN, has been organised conjointly by the Musée Picasso d'Antibes, the Museo Picasso de Málaga and the Museu Picasso de Barcelona, under the direction of Jean-Louis Andral, director and chief curator of the Musée Picasso d'Antibes. The exhibition counts on the collaboration of Sociedad Estatal de Commemoraciones Culturales, and the support of the italian enterprise Gandi Navi Veloci.

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      The 88 works on display -sculptures, paintings, ceramics and drawings- are all from the collections of the Musée Picasso d'Antibes (three ceramic pieces and one painting are from Museu Picasso de Barcelona), that has had to close its doors for important restoration work, providing the museums in Málaga and Barcelona with the opportunity to enjoy this marvellous body of work produced by the artist in the Summer of 1946, when he moved to the Midi area of France. (These other two Spanish cities, Malaga and Barcelona, along with Antibes share the positon of having been elemental in the life and works of Pablo Picasso.) In fact, many of these works are being shown for the first time outside the walls of the Chateau Grimaldi in Antibes, which was Picasso's studio and in 1966, was officially opened as the Musée Picasso. The Museu Picasso de Barcelona collaborates with 3 ceramics and 1 painting. The exhibition also includes a selection of 20 photographs by the Polish photographer, Michel Sima (born as Michel Smajewski, 1912-1987). These shots also form part of the permanent fund of the Musée Picasso d'Antibes and constitute a working documentary of the creative process that Picasso followed in his studio at the Chateau Grimaldi.

  • Picasso and the circus

    • Date 16/11/2006 to 18/2/2007
    • Picasso’s links with the circus world were a constant feature throughout his life. Towards the end of the 19th century, Picasso went to circuses that came to Barcelona, although there is no trace of this in any of his work of the time. The street circuses in the boulevards of Paris were frequently visited by the young Picasso and his friends, when they first stayed in the city.

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      Late 1904 and the beginning of 1905 is when the subject of the circus, in particular the Medrano circus, became an essential part of his life and work and the focal point of the output of the period. The artist created a fictitious scene where acrobats and tight-rope walkers –who had already appeared throughout the literary and artistic tradition of Romanticism as a symbol of human isolation and suffering– play roles in daily life, display their domestic problems, isolation and lack of understanding of their feelings. Family scenes featuring acrobats and harlequins from this period are the legacy of family group portraits whose roots take hold in the blue period. These compositions would be the base for a great painting that Picasso had been working on for some time, “Acrobat Family”, 1905. The Harlequin, as with the Minotaur of the 1930s, became the artist’s alter ego. The Harlequin, whose genesis dated back to the Blue Period, took on serious importance in what came to be known as the Rose Period.

      During the years of analytic Cubism, the Harlequin family reappears in isolated cases in a set of oil paintings from 1909 and in the still life “Loaves of bread and fruit bowl on a table”, where the composition refers us back to a previous work, “Carnival at the tavern”. In 1915, Picasso undertook a series of experiments to continue his analysis of representing the Harlequin and which culminated in the painting entitled “Harlequin”, property of the Museum of Modern Art in New York around which he painted a series of watercolours and which, in his own words, formed the climax of his interpretation of this figure. This intense work would culminate two years later in his first, daring collaboration with the theatre, “Parade”, where, by recreating life at a fairground booth, Picasso was able to create a series of plastic experiments based on the circus world. In this way, his triumphs in Cubism would alternate with a Naturalism that hinted at the great classics, that would appear much later in his life, where the figure of the Harlequin would continue to command a central role.

      From 1920 onwards, the subject of the Harlequin and the Pierrot regained importance and together with the 1917 figures, gave rise to the two great and definitive versions of “The three musicians” –where the artist once more takes on the identity of the Harlequin– and which are the splendid culmination of what he learnt on his trip to Italy. In the 1930s, the figure of the Minotaur, with whom the artist identified himself to the point that it also became his alter ego, gradually gave way to that of the Harlequin until its remains were gathered in the symbolic drawing “Minotaur and Harlequin”.

      In his last works, the circus show acquires special significance and the artist exorcises the circus work of his youth. Once again, the amazons and the clowns appear in a rich and varied display where his work defies the inexorable fleetingness of life. He did not hesitate to allow himself to be photographed as a clown on several occasions, revealing his inner personality as both heroic and sad. These magnificent photographs were taken by photographer friends such as David Douglas Duncan, André Villiers and Edward Quinn.

      The Picasso and the Circus exhibition will review Picasso’s treatment of the circus world, throughout his artistic career. The exhibition will later travel to the Fondation Pierre Gianadda at Martigny (09.03.2007-10.06.2007).