From the Prado Museum to the Pompidou Center, passing through the Met in New York, 42 exhibitions around the world will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, which will take place on April 8, 2023, a “mobilization without precedents” for the “most famous artist of modern art”, according to Madrid and Paris.
Prepared jointly by France and Spain for 18 months, the “Picasso Year” will mobilize “38 highly relevant institutions in Europe and the United States,” the Spanish Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, told the press on Monday at the event. presentation held at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.
These exhibitions will allow “all the facets” of the Spanish artist to be shown, born in Malaga (southern Spain) in 1881 and who died in Mougins (southeastern France) in 1973, accompanied in parallel by a series of “colloquia” and “debates” about the painter and his work, added his French counterpart, Rima Abdul Malak.
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The celebrations will start on September 23 at the Fundación Mapfre, in Madrid, with the exhibition “Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture” and will last until April 2024, when the retrospective “The Paris of the Moderns (1905-1925)” ends. )” which will be exhibited at the Petit Palais in the French capital.
The events in tribute to the Spanish painter – whom the French minister described as “the most famous and emblematic artist of modern art” – will take place mainly in Spain, France and the United States, although there will also be activities in Germany, Switzerland, Romania or Belgium . Participating institutions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (“Met”), the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Picasso museums in Barcelona and Paris.
The exhibitions will serve to highlight “the immense legacy left behind” by Picasso, whose work “continues to be an absolute reference for artists from all over the world,” said the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, at a ceremony at the Reina Sofía Museum on the night of Monday.
A message that Minister Iceta had already evoked, when he spoke of “the validity” of Picasso’s work, in front of the Guernica painting, one of the most famous in the world, the work of the painter from Malaga in 1937. This painting that immortalized the massacre which occurred in the city of Guernica -bombed in April 1937 by Nazi aviation in support of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)-, is “a manifesto for peace”, Rima Abdul Malak assessed.
The work “acquires a special connotation”, at a time when “the war is raging at the gates of Europe and we are together with the Ukrainian people”, insisted the French minister, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Beyond the political and historical references, the retrospectives organized within the “Picasso year” will be the opportunity, according to the organizers, to equally address the “excesses” and “contradictions” of the artist.
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The figure of Picasso, long extolled thanks to his artistic genius, has been tarnished for some years by accusations of misogyny and violence against his partners, brought to light after the rise of the MeToo movement. The author of “The Avignon Ladies” or “The Weeping Woman”, who spent much of his life in France, was accused by the journalist Sophie Chauveau in her work “Picasso, the Minotaur” of being a “jealous” man. , “wicked” and “destructive”.
“It is important that the public knows Picasso better and also knows the part of violence that was in him. It is something that should not be hidden,” Rima Abdul Malak acknowledged on Monday, who deemed it necessary, however, “not to reduce all of Picasso’s work” to that theme. The Spanish painter and sculptor’s relationship with women will be addressed in an exhibition planned at the Brooklyn Museum in New York for the summer of 2023.