Friday, November 28, 2008

Picasso Presents Living Things: Picasso Figure - Still Life

Picasso Presents Living Things: Picasso Figure - Still Life

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Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Guitar, Juan-les-Pins, 1924, oil on canvas, 97,5 x 130 cm. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. © Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. © Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2008.

BARCELONA.- Museu Picasso presents Living Things: Picasso Figure - Still Life, on view through March 1, 2009. One of the primary objectives of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona is to constitute a centre of reference for research and the generation of knowledge about Picasso and his work. The Museum has brought together under the auspices of its Rethinking Picasso programme a number of projects that offer vital new approaches to the artist, moving beyond traditional biographical narratives and stylistic classifications to seek new perspectives and free the subject from the weight of convention and cliché.

Christopher Green, Professor of History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London, has significantly advanced that working objective by accepting the Museum’s proposal to curate and present in Barcelona the exhibition Living Things: Picasso Still-life/Figure, which puts forward new readings of the artist's work based on the latest researches of this leading authority in the field.

The exhibition, exceptionally rigorous and innovative in its premises, presents a very judicious selection of some 60 works—drawings, prints and paintings—made by Picasso between 1907 and 1933, including four of the magnificent still-lifes that the artist made in 1924.

Many prestigious institutions and private collectors have lent works for this exhibition — these include: Musée National d'Art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Detroit Institute of Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and The National Gallery of Ireland.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge our debt of gratitude for the loan of works by many private collections around the world and, in particular, to private collectors in Barcelona and to the artist’s family.

Living Things - From 1907 on Picasso opened his work to metamorphosis, devoting himself more and more to transforming one thing into another. In particular, he turned human figures into objects and objects into figures, even creating objects that are also figures. The present exhibition brings together sketches, studies, prints and paintings that show some of the ways in which this metamorphic process was materialized in Picasso’s works during the artist’s Cubist period and between 1924 and the early 1930s, the years of his involvement and exchange of ideas with the Surrealists.

The exhibition is entitled Living Things because Picasso’s interchanges between figures and objects bring the inanimate to life. A head is also a guitar, a still-life becomes an automaton and ultimately, in the last rooms, objects behave as if they were actors on a stage or are broken in pieces like the helpless victims of a violent attack.

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