PHOTOS / COURTESY OF:
24 ORE CULTURA – Gruppo 24 ORE PRESS OFFICE
MUNICIPALITY OF MILAN PRESS OFFICE
The Department of Culture, Fashion and Design of the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Reale and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE with the Musée National Picasso are pleased to present the great return of Picasso to Milan with a retrospective exhibition realized thanks to the support of Gruppo Unipol. The exhibition will open 20 September 2012 at the Palazzo Reale: “Pablo Picasso. Masterpieces from the National Picasso Museum in Paris”.
“Milan is hosting Pablo Picasso’s brilliant and fundamental work for the third time, following the major exhibitions in 1953 and 2001. These two shows coincided with crucial periods both in international politics and everyday life in Milan. And they left their mark – Head of Culture Stefano Boeri emphasizes – but we do not yet know whether this appointment with Picasso will be another appointment with history for Milan. We do know that organizing this meeting between a major city and the brilliant precursor of contemporary art provided opportunities to reflect on history – as confirmed by the rooms in Palazzo Reale devoted to the preparation of the 1953 exhibition. This show is a tribute to Picasso, to Milan and to the coincidences – never completely accidental – that have characterized the life of a leading interpreter of modern times.”
The exhibition was curated by Anne Baldassari, internationally recognized as one of the most important Picasso scholars and the curator of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which houses the world’s largest collection of works by the Spanish artist.
With more than two-hundred-fifty works – many of which have not left the Paris museum prior to this global exhibition, for which Milan is the only European venue – including paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, illustrated books and prints, the exhibition is a veritable chronological excursus through Picasso’s artistic production, allowing comparison of the techniques and expressive means with which the artist challenged himself over his long career.
Through the unique and exceptional collection of the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the Milan retrospective presents, among the many masterpieces, works that allow the visitor to travel over the history of art through the evolution of the artistic language of this undisputed twentieth-century master, enjoying masterpieces like “The Celestina” (1904), “Man with a mandolin” (1911), “Portrait of Olga” (1918), “Two women running on the beach” (1922), “Paul as Harlequin” (1924), “Portrait of Dora Maar” and “The Supplicant” (1937).
As the curator explains in the catalogue, “The collection of the Musée Picasso thus represents Picasso’s work in progress, his surprises, his leaps forward and his regrets, his meanderings and his retreats. Through it one can observe paintings that become sculpture and vice versa in the invention of intermediate dimensions: painting without a background or contours, flat panels like icons, carved wooden pieces illuminated with colour, the optical tricks of collés, tableaux-reliefs and flat constructions, hollow, open, perforated sculptures, filiform spatial graphic works, paintings in the round, models made out of folded paper, plate sheets that have been cut and opened out into space. Even the drawings, the pages of sketchbooks and the engravings converse in a continuous to and fro, to reconstruct the iconographic logic of a narrative that explores all of the possibilities, almost reaching the myth of the birth of images: here one gathers the minute reasons for sequences that go from the identical to the multiple through the intermediate stages that describe, to thousands, this mythographic gesture”.
Picasso is the unquestioned leader of twentieth-century art and embodied its turbulent, innovative spirit. Born in the Spanish city of Malaga in 1881, after studying art in Barcelona, where he was enrolled in the School of Fine Arts at the young age of thirteen, and in Madrid, he made his first trip to Paris in 1900, the city where art and culture would influence him so enormously as to leave their mark in all of his work. At the time of his death, in Mougins in the south of France in 1973, he had produced more than 50,000 works using diverse languages and artistic means, in a stream of epochal turns and stylistic changes, astonishing testimonies to the private life, civil and political engagement and recherche of an inexhaustible artist.
Within the exhibition – designed by Italo Lupi with Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto and covering more than 2000 square metres on the upper floor of the Palazzo Reale – there will also be documentation of the exhibition that Picasso held in 1953, also at the Palazzo Reale, where the great canvas “Guernica” (1937) was shown in Italy for the first time, in the Sala delle Cariatidi.
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, with texts by Anne Baldassari, Isabelle Limousin, Virginie Perdrisot, Francesco Poli, Pablo Rossi e Annabelle Ténèze, is published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition was published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE.