Last Updated on February 29, 2024

Beginning March 12, 2024, the Musée national Picasso-Paris will once again be showcasing its collection of Picasso artworks over three floors, following a year of celebration and a masterly exhibition devoted to the artist Sophie Calle. Ten years after the museum’s reopening, the collection is taking up permanent residence in the Hôtel Salé. 

The Musée national Picasso-Paris houses the largest public collection of works by Picasso, the “Picassos of Picasso.” Coming from the artist’s studios, this collection gives visitors a better grasp of the aesthetic explorations of a Picasso who was by turns disconcerting, plural, contradictory, reflexive, gestural and conceptual, an aesthete and a committed activist, a tinkerer and a poet. Is he symbolist, cubist, classical, surrealist or simply figurative and political? 

An open and lively place, the museum is taking up the questions of society to explore the reception of his work, i.e. that of the most famous painter, the most watched, but also the most debated. 

It is also an opportunity to devote special exhibitions, or counterpoints, at the Centre of the collections. The first in this series pays tribute to the artist Françoise Gilot, who passed away recently. In addition to her famous book Vivre avec Picasso (Living with Picasso), published in 1965, the exhibition looks at the artist’s career, from her close association with the Réalités nouvelles group to the great totemic compositions of the “emblematic paintings” of the 1980s. 

Spread over 22 rooms, this new presentation brings together nearly 400 works: paintings, sculptures, assemblages, ceramics, drawings and prints from all periods, providing evidence of the breadth of his explorations. 

For the occasion, a critical apparatus has been devised, drawing on abundant documentation (from the museum’s exceptional archives): reviews, photographs, books, films, correspondence, as well as room texts providing an insight into the cultural context in which these works were created. The presence of works from his collection – paintings by Henri Matisse or Paul Cézanne, anonymous sculptures from Africa and Oceania – reveals the constant dialogue he maintained with other artists. 

Pablo Picasso’s work carefully records the world around him. Picasso developed his own theory of history, showing how all memory is associated with archives of data and images. Designed in close collaboration with Joris Lipsch of the Studio Matters scenographic agency, the presentation has been designed to encourage detours and rediscoveries. 

Author

  • Chadd Scott

    Chadd Scott is an arts contributor with Forbes and the founder of See Great Art, where he writes about his travels from big city museums to small town galleries in search of great art.

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