This exhibition examines the responses of contemporary artists to the life and work of Pablo Picasso during the forty years since his death, in which his significance for contemporary artists has been controversial. It addresses the question of whether Picasso continues to be important for contemporary art and considers the variety of ways in which artists are engaging his art.
As the 58 works in the galleries demonstrate, contemporary artists have reinterpreted the meanings of Picasso’s oeuvre and liberated Picasso’s legacy from the constraints of past ideologies. These artists freely explore and contest Picasso’s status. They do not perceive Picasso as merely a paradigm of the 20th-century European avant-garde, but interpret him as a polyvalent model for artists worldwide to address the global expansion and diversification of contemporary art in the twenty-first century.
This exhibition presents the work of 41 artists from around the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. This diversity reflects the remarkable geographical range of Picasso’s impact on contemporary art as well as the current importance of this engagement, since many of the works were created after 2000.
Curator: Michael FitzGerald
The Iraqi artist from London, Dia Al-Azzawi, was invited to participate to this groundbreaking show. The Tate Modern sent its apologies for not being able to lend the polyptych Sabra & Chatila (dated 1982-83, measuring 300 x 750 cm) to the Picasso Museum. However, nine large engravings from the artist’s portfolio of Sabra & Chatila(dated 1983, each print measuring 100 x 70 cm) will be exhibited in Barcelona. These prints were based on the text We are not seen but Corpses by the French writer Jean Genet, who had visited the camps the day after the massacres.
Translated from French by Valérie Hess