From Africa to Paris, new mini exhibitions of Picasso’s works

Francisco Griñán


Thursday, 28 March 2024, 16:43

One of the more novel aspects of the new semi-permanent collection at the Picasso Museum Malaga is the series of five, mini, ‘Focus’ exhibitions, curated by a team of researchers working under Prof Michael Fitzgerald from the Almine & Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Foundation (FABA) who were funded to carry out an in-depth study of specific aspects of the work of this Malaga artist.

As such, gallery visitors can step through each focal point, learning more about the artist’s special relationship with African sculpture, his pieces done with wood and plaster, the impact of World War II on his work and the mural that he painted for Unesco in Paris.

The first Focus exhibition shows off three African pieces from Picasso’s collection and the influence of black art on his painting The Young Ladies of Avignon. In Room 4, art specialist Meta Maria Valiusaityte puts the spotlight on his paintings on wood, some of which are small in format, yet appear monumental thanks to the artist’s toying with proportions.

Moving up to the second floor, we see how Picasso experimented with creating plaster sculptures in the 1930s with several pieces selected by Rocío Robles Tardío. Room 7 illustrates something of the joy shared by many when Paris was liberated at the end of World War II. Blair Hartzell points out that these works by Picasso “do not directly show much of the war, but the war was present in his paintings”. The final exhibit is about the enormous mural that he painted in 1957-58 for Unesco’s Paris headquarters, for which Giovanni Casini has selected Picasso’s preliminary drawings that give us some insight into the creative process of the artist and his dialogue with the drawing and sculptural elements of this great work.

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