El Blog del museo Picasso de Barcelona

Learn about Picasso by reading: the Museum’s new Reading Club

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Museu Picasso Reading Club, a new program that invites our audiences to dig deeper into the world of Picasso by reading, whether it be texts about the artist, the literary favourites of the artist himself (he was an inveterate and autodidact reader) or material related to the temporary exhibitions organized by the Museum.

Reading Club in the Neoclassical Room

The Club will be coordinated by Jordi Carrión, who, working in tandem with the team of curators and the Museum library, has selected the readings and will direct the sessions.

The sessions will take place in different spaces of the Museum: the exhibition rooms (the first session, on 2 December, was held in the Museum’s Neoclassical Room, a wonderful place!) or in the library itself. As well as engaging with the literary issues, the idea is to strengthen the links with artistic aspects, by means of the participation of experts on Picasso, gallery visits, references to artworks associated with the texts being read, etc.

During the session. Jordi Carrión, Malen Gual and attendees of the Reading Club

For those of you who cannot come along in person, we invite you to take part in this new venture by way of the blog. After each session we will post a summary, and you will be more than welcome to send us your contributions, comments and suggestions, which Jordi will give you feed back on and we will incorporate into the presential sessions.

We hope you find this proposal interesting: for our part, we are very happy to see it up and running and excited about the contributions this literary facet can add to our understanding of Picasso’s work.

Here below is Jordi’s summary of the first session and an outline of the next:

“The first meeting of the Reading Club focused on the relationship between painting and literature in the second half of the nineteenth and early years of the twentieth century by way of a conceptual binomial — science and charity — drawn from Picasso’s famous painting of the same name. The fact is that the difficult relationship between rationalism, progress, scientific thought and medicine on the one hand, and religion, superstition, beliefs and the charitable spirit on the other, is equally present in the novels of Zola, Clarín, Ollé and Baroja as it is in the Social Realist paintings of their Spanish and French contemporaries. The commentary on a series of texts provided the introduction to both the Reading Club and the exhibition “Science and Charity Revealed“, which we visited afterwards with its curator and conservator of the Museu Picasso collection, Malén Gual.

Visiting “Science and Charity Revealed”

For the next session, which will be on Thursday, 13 January, all of you who are interested can start reading La xava (Edicions de 1984), by Juli Vallmitjana; probably his best novel, La xava is set in the troubled, violent, colourist and Picassian Barcelona underworld of the beginning of the last century. Taking part in this next session will be Eduard Vallès, Conservator of the Museum and curator of, among others, the exhibition “Picasso vs. Rusiñol.

Jordi Carrión”

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