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Picasso by Duncan. The complicit look

1st December 2021 - 6th March, 2022

The exhibition highlights the close friendship and complicity between the artist from Malaga and the photojournalist David Douglas Duncan through more than 60 photographs exhibited in the rooms of the permanent collection of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona and brings us closer to the everyday life of Picasso and his artistic process.

«In the spring of 1956, while I was moving from one mission on the Russian border in Afghanistan to another near the Berber tribes of the High Atlas in Morocco, my job as a foreign correspondent took me to Cannes, on the French Riviera, where Picasso lived. In twenty-four hours, a wave of good fortune led me to the door of the artist's villa. The same wave then opened the door of this house to me, and then the door of his bedroom, where I discovered the master in person, completely naked, submerged in the bathtub and waving his hand at me with a warm welcome.» Duncan, David Douglas, Picasso's Picasso. New York, Harper & Brothers, 1961. [Duncan, David Douglas, The Picassos of Picasso. Barcelona, Reuter, 1961].

That's how Duncan met Pablo Picasso. Robert Capa had promised to introduce him to the artist, but two years earlier he had died in the Indochina War without being able to keep his promise. Duncan called La Californie, Picasso's home in Cannes, and said he was Capa's friend and only wanted to greet the artist, and Jacqueline invited him to visit them. Thus began a close friendship with Picasso and Jacqueline that lasted for seventeen years, until Picasso's death in 1973.


    In 2013, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Museu Picasso, David Douglas Duncan donated a set of 161 photographs (modern digital copies on Inkjet Gold Fibre Silk 50 x 60 cm paper) selected by him, which are a good example of the close relationship between the photographer and the artist, and show, on the one hand, everyday scenes of Picasso with his family - especially with Jacqueline, his last wife - and, on the other hand, they are an exceptional testimony when documenting the artist's creative and work processes.

    The merit of these photographs lies above all in the set as a whole; they are portraits, but at the same time they are reports, scenes from Picasso’s life that follow one another and end up narrating a part of his existence seen from the perspective of a friend. And here's another reason why this donation was especially well received, because it's a personal story about the artist, the photographic chronicle of David Douglas Duncan, a friend of Picasso and a photographer of major international prestige.

    Practical Information

  • Open to the public:
    From 1st December 2021 to 6th March, 2022

  • Curator
    Sílvia Domènech, head of the Centre of Knowledge and Research of the Museu Picasso and Emmanuel Guigon, director of the Museu Picasso

  • Opening times and admission »

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