Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Barcelona City Council

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  • Picasso: from caricature to stylistic metamorfoses of style

    • Date 18/2/2003 to 18/5/2003
    • The aim of this exhibition is to explore the role distortion of the figure plays in Picasso's art, and forms the first time that this subject, difficult to pin down yet absolutely crucial, has been broached.

    • Display information

      Featuring over 400 pieces, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, engravings and photographs, most of them loaned by important museums and private collections from all over the world, many of these works will be shown in public for the first time here.

      Caricatures, monsters, puppets, masks, grotesque beings, irreal situations… There has always been a place in Picasso's work for festive and ironic portrayals of his immediate surroundings, both in his personal and his artistic world. The exhibition explores the artist's work from the beginning of his artistic formation, where the caricature has an important presence, to the stylistic metamorphosis that brought into being a cosmos in which the expressionist portrait provided the starting-point for a sequence of monstrous distortions that were to revolutionise 20th-century aesthetic canons.

      The exhibition consists of seven sections:

      • 1. The beginnings (1897-1905)
      • 2. Cubism, primitivism, the theatre
      • 3. Metamorphosis of style
      • 4. The 1950s
      • 5. The artist, demiurge and puppet
      • 6. Parodying art. The Verve suite
      • 7. Picasso in caricature

      The exhibition seeks not only to show and analyse the importance of the caricature in Picasso's art (from his early drawings to his last works), then, but also to demonstrate the extent to which his distortion of figures throughout his formal experimentation, in a combination unprecedented in art history of caricature, childish drawing, primitivism and fragmentation of classical forms, provided a veritable springboard to what was to become the famous "Picasso style".

  • Torres García

    • Date 25/11/2003 to 11/4/2004
    • Joaquim Torres-García neix a Montevideo el 1874.
    • Display information

      Joaquín Torres-García was born in Montevideo in 1874. In 1891, at the age of seventeen he settled with his family in Mataró. In the autumn of 1892 the Torres-García family moved to Barcelona and Joaquín enrolled for the courses given at the Llotja School of Fine Arts, where he met Mir, Sunyer, Canals and Nonell, the pioneers of Catalan art in the early 20th century. The artistic and intellectual activity in Barcelona in those years encouraged the young artist, who taught himself and gained confidence through his friendship with Josep Pijoan, Eduardo Marquina and Luis de Zulueta. He soon became a key figure of Noucentisme, not only because of his evolution as an artist, but also for his theoretical contributions. He propounded a Catalan Mediterraneanism, inspired in the art of Puvis de Chavannes, which filters a renewing vision of classical tradition based on an aesthetic, balanced ideal of modernity.

      After 1917 his painting evolved towards an individual version of avantgarde art, which was expressed not only visually but also through writings and manifestos such as Art-Evolució. And so, from 1917 to 1922, first in Barcelona and then in New York –where he lived from 1920 to 1922– he joined the Vibrationism proposed by Rafael Barradas. In those same years, fascinated by children’s art, he began to produce toys, which allowed him to experiment with new visual solutions. His “transformable toys” were shown for the first time at Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona in 1918, and were soon sold in the United States, Italy and France.

      He settled in Paris in 1926 and embarked on a transition period in which he began to paint a series of pictures with figures in primitive style. From 1929 he gradually freed himself from the archaism of those first Parisian paintings and began to work on cityscapes.

      He met Mondrian, Van Doesburg, Arp, Taeuber-Arp, Hélion and Gorin, among others. In 1930, with Michel Seuphor, he founded the Cercle et Carré group, which gave rise to the journal of the same name, which brought together all the international trends in abstract art.

      Fed by the principles of the pure abstraction of neo-Plasticism and archaic, pre-Colombian art, he developed a personal style which is called Constructivism or Constructive Universalism and proposes a new universal language to understand the world. From 1931, his pictures display an orthogonal structure with inserted signs, schema of real objects or images from the collective memory.

      In 1934, after a forty-three year absence, he returned to Montevideo, where he would live until his death in 1949. He became a kind of prophet of modernity in South America. He founded the journal Círculo y Cuadrado (the second period of Cercle et Carré) and created the Association of Constructive Art (1935) and the Workshop (1942), thus confirming his vocation as an educator. His Constructive Universalism evolved towards an affirmation of a more fluid geometry and the predominance of American Indian signs. His painting became more expressive, even lyrical. In short, he aspired to a monumental art which, after the manner of pre-Colombian art, is integrated into architecture.