June 12 to September 12, 2021
QUÉBEC CITY, June 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Picasso. Figures exhibition, presented by Quebecor, which highlights Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), an artist and an admired, controversial individual, will be the focal point of the summer of 2021. Presented in an exclusive Canadian engagement at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), the masterpieces assembled will celebrate the human figure, the artist's favourite subject, from June 12 to September 12, 2021.
To complement the exhibition, Opening a Dialogue About Body Liberation exhibition, a group exhibition in a continuous circuit rooted in the contemporary world, will echo the work of this giant of modernity. Picasso rejected the diktats of the aesthetic cannons linked to the representation of the human figure, which enables the MNBAQ to raise certain contemporary social concerns and offer relevant, thoughtful reflection on body diversity.
To develop this exhibition and ensure the appropriateness of the avenues for reflection proposed, the MNBAQ established an advisory committee comprising journalist and author Mickaël Bergeron, Cassandra Cacheiro and Sara Hini, cofounders of The Womanhood Project, and cultural content creator Elizabeth Cordeau Rancourt. The exhibition thus links Picasso's works with those of contemporary, mainly Québec artists, whose output explores the representation of body diversity. "The complementary approach proposed focuses on openness, rapprochement with others, and active participation in debate in our society aimed at improving it," noted Jean-Luc Murray, Director General of the MNBAQ.
Infinite exploration of the body
Designed by the Musée national Picasso-Paris in France in collaboration with the MNBAQ, Picasso. Figures comprises 76 works, including 47 major paintings, drawn from its remarkable collection, produced between 1895 and 1972.
Presented as a thematic retrospective that explores more than 75 years of the artist's career, Picasso. Figures focuses on the representation of the body grasp the numerous metamorphoses inherent in his output.
From portraits, influenced by years of apprenticeship inspired by 17th century Spanish masters, to the representations featuring expressionist, liberated body movements of the final period, the deconstructed, reconstructed, constantly transformed body turns into malleable figures on the path of this unique genius.
Six seminal works illustrate six fascinating themes
The exhibition focuses on six themes: Female figures, Cubist figures, Magic figures, Sculptural figures, Disfigured figures, and Late figures. It mainly comprises paintings, drawings, and prints, ranging from the Spanish master's formative years to the final paintings in the last period. It also assembles a remarkable collection of sculptures that reflect the artist's multidisciplinary dimension.
Among the showpieces that illustrate each of themes on the exhibition circuit and the striking periods of Picasso's career, mention should be made of: La Lecture (1932), a masterpiece of the representation of seated women, a theme present in various forms throughout the artist's career; Man with a Guitar (1911), a painting that is characteristic of analytical cubism, which seeks to restore on the same surface a subject's three-dimensionality by revealing its different facets; Figure : projet pour un monument à Guillaume Apollinaire (1928), a sculpture akin to a drawing in space, in which the human figure is made up solely of fine metal stems and a simple disk to represent the head; The Bathers (1918), a small painting produced during his honeymoon in Biarritz with his bride, Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, far removed from the cubist aesthetic that signalled a return to a neoclassical line and evokes the influence of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; Grand nu au fauteuil rouge (1929), a hidden, cruel portrait of his wife Olga, which takes up again the theme of the seated woman dear to Picasso; and lastly, Luncheon on the Grass, After Manet (1960), part of a series of variations centred on major works in the history of western art.
A tribute to Picasso's muses
Picasso is praised for his art. However, many biographies also give an account of his reprehensible behaviour towards women. Must we separate the artist's life from his work? Picasso himself responded to this ethical and philosophical question: "It is not sufficient to know an artist's works. It is also necessary to know when he produced them, why, how, and under what circumstances." The MNBAQ has decided to pay tribute to the women in his life who were his muses - Fernande Olivier (1881–1966), Olga Khokhlova (1891–1955), Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909–1977), Dora Maar (1907–1997), Françoise Gilot (1921) et Jacqueline Roque (1926–1986) - since Picasso's work is closely linked to his love stories, in which passion and violence and destruction meshed.
A section of the exhibition will also afford an opportunity to hear three of the exhibitions' collabortators, Mickaël Bergeron, Cassandra Cacheiro and Sara Hini, propose avenues for reflection on the possibility of differentiating the lives of artists from their work. They broach this ethical question from different angles to sustain our personal reflection. In an age of cultural boycotts, maintaining a dialogue enables us to better grasp the questions and to highlight the grey areas that have persisted over time.
A unique audio circuit
The audio guide devoted to the Picasso. Figures and Opening a Dialogue About Body Liberation exhibitions is unique. It enables visitors to not only travel in Picasso's universe but also to foster dialogue on questions such as the relationship between the artist and his muses, cultural boycotts, the representation of non-gendered bodies, or the notion of inner beauty. Mickaël Bergeron, Sara Hini and Cassandra Cacheiro, the MNBAQ's collaborators, share with visitors their reflections and personal experience. They create bridges between Picasso's work and crucial questions in our society to encourage sensitive, intelligent reflection.
Visitors can download the audio guide on their cell phones to listen to excerpts from their exchanges. The full version of their discussion is also available on the MNBAQ website.
The catalogue takes a contemporary look at Picasso's work
Was Pablo Picasso a misogynist? Using this straightforward question as a starting point, Emilia Philippot and François Dareau from the Musée national Picasso-Paris, the curators of Picasso. Figures exhibition, produced the catalogue.
The 176-page publication includes over 100 illustrations. It spans a period of more than 75 years of artistic output featuring the human figure, Picasso's favourite subject. What is more, the theme is one of the most fertile prisms through which to grasp the numerous metamorphoses inherent in the artist's practice.
In addition to an essay that situates the artist's works in the theoretical context of gender studies, the catalogue focuses on the six sections of the exhibition, which explore female, cubist, magical, sculptural, disfigured, and late figures. It also includes a complete chronology of Picasso's life. Studio Polpo has overseen the graphic design of the catalogue, published by MondoMostre. Picasso. Figures is available exclusively at the Librairie-Boutique of the MNBAQ, in French and in English, for $49.95.
Picasso. Figures is organized by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris and MondoMostre. The contribution comes from the Mesure d'aide financière à l'intention des musées d'État pour des expositions internationales majeures.The exhibition Opening a Dialogue About Body Libération is organized by the MNBAQ.
Chief Curator, Head of Collections, Musée national Picasso-Paris
Associate Curator, Research Fellow, Musée national Picasso Paris
Curator of Exhibitions, MNBAQ
At Musée national Picasso-Paris
Laurent LE BON
Director of Ressources
Director of Communications and Public Development
Director of Collections, Production and Education
Head of Production
At the Musée national des beaux arts du Québec
Head of Mediation, MNBAQ
Head of Museography, MNBAQ
Head of Collections, MNBAQ
Head of Exhibitions and Curatorial, MNBAQ
Advisory committee on body diversity
Author and journalist
Co-founders of The Womanhood Project
Elizabeth CORDEAU RANCOURT
Creator of Cultural Content
Marie-Renée BOURGET HARVEY
Design and Graphic Design
Marie-Renée BOURGET HARVEY
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.
Opening a Dialogue About Body Liberation
Pierre Lassonde Pavilion of the MNBAQ
June 12 to September 12, 2021
SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
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