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SabartÉs by Picasso by SabartÉs

From November 23th, 2018 to February 24th, 2019

'Picasso and Sabartés with the book Picasso: Portraits et souvenirs'. Canes, 1959. Photography, Edward Quinn. Photography with silver halide (artist’s copy), 23.5 x 23.5 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Edward Quinn  © edwardquinn.com. © Reproductions of Picasso’s work: Succession Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2018. CEQ/1/6

50 years after the death of Jaume Sabartés (on 13 February 1968), the founder with Pablo Picasso himself of the Museu Picasso of Barcelona, the personal Sabartés archive in the collection of the museum can be consulted by researchers.

This event is the starting point for the exhibition dedicated to Sabartés by the Museu Picasso, which seeks to revive the figure of Jaume Sabartés, not only as the friend and confidant of the most influential painter of the 20th century, but also as a key factor in Picasso’s personal trajectory. Sabartés assumed the tasks of biographer, writer, translator, professor and intellectual, consistently engaged with his time.

  • The exhibition: homage and revival

    This exhibition revives the figure of Jaume Sabartés beyond his better-known role as Picasso’s assistant. Through more than twenty published texts on Picasso, Sabartés became a promoter of aspects of the artist that would have been difficult to find out about if it had not been for his front and centre point of view, experienced on a daily basis. With this project the museum seeks to contribute to consolidating the biography of Sabartés, whose life continues to be rather unknown. The exhibit will feature a selection of portraits Picasso made of Sabartés during their many years as friends. These portraits were done in a variety of techniques, including painting, drawing and printmaking, but also in literary form.

    Portraits of Jaume Sabartés

    The exhibition will also show portraits of Sabartés as made by other artist friends from the Americas: Carlos Valenti, Rafael Rodríguez Padilla, Rodolfo Valladares and Miguel Arcángel de León. It also features portraits by photographers who were part of Picasso’s circle, including Edward Quinn, David Douglas Duncan and Alexander Liberman.

    The exhibition also includes archival material, including photographs, documents and personal objects, as well as a selection from the correspondence between Sabartés and Picasso.

    The publishing projects carried out by Sabartés on the subject of Picasso take on particular relevance in the exhibit, as all the books are shown in context, with the documentation held in the Sabartés archive illuminating each particular case.

    Sabartés and Picasso: patrons of
    the Museu Picasso

    The third aspect considered in the exhibition is the vital transcendence of this friendship for the creation of the Museu Picasso of Barcelona, which was inaugurated on 9 March 1963, when the Franco regime was still going strong. The original name was Sabartés Collection, and it was essential for understanding Picasso’s relationship to Barcelona. Jaume Sabartés worked as a kind of gatekeeper who was able to open the doors to many Catalans who wanted to have contact with Picasso. The Gaspar cousins (Joan and Miquel), Joan Vidal Ventosa and the Reventós family were paradigmatic examples of this interest.

    The title of the exhibition, Sabartés by Picasso by Sabartés, suggests the circular nature of this shared biography, which began in Barcelona and is best expressed in a book by Jaume Sabartés, Picasso, retratos y recuerdos [Picasso: Portraits and Memories]: through the description of portraits Picasso made of him, Sabartés writes about the artist’s life and work, where the presence of Sabartés is constant.

    Practical Information

  • Open to the public:
    November 23th, 2018 - February 24th, 2019

  • Curators:
    Margarida Cortadella, head of the Museu Picasso Library, and Emmanuel Guigon, Director of the Museu Picasso.

  • Organization and production:
    Museu Picasso, Barcelona

  • Space:
    Palau Finestres

  • Opening times and admission »

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