From 25 October 2017 to 28 January 2018, the Museum Picasso de Barcelona opens its doors to four exhibitions, on show simultaneously: “1917: Picasso in Barcelona”, “Arthur Cravan: Maintenant?”, “The Shared Studio: Picasso, Fín, Vilató and Xavier” and “Lucien Clergue: Twenty-Seven Encounters with Picasso”.
“1917: Picasso in Barcelona”
Exhibition curated by Malén Gual, commemorating the centenary of Picasso’s longest stay in Barcelona after 1904, when he settled in Paris.
In 1917 the city was the refuge for many avant-garde artists, as it became a European cultural epicentre. Picasso arrived with the tour of Sergei Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet, in the company of Olga Khokhlova, whom he had met in Rome in April while he was working there on the sets and costumes for the ballet Parade. During his stay he was welcomed, celebrated and honoured, while the Russian Ballet performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
In this exhibition, we aim to show how Picasso returned to a Barcelona with a rich cultural scene, a city unlike the one he had left. We also intend to examine the nature of his relationships with the local artists, the tourist outings he went on, the things he did in his spare time, and his artistic output during this period, which was particularly prolific. In this interlude in Barcelona, far from the oppressive climate in Paris, a city then at war, and from his Cubist circles, Picasso was able to work freely, searching for new forms of expression. This was a moment of stylistic transition in Picasso’s oeuvre that would continue in the years immediately afterwards, when classical sources alternated totally freely with the achievements of Cubism.
Picasso at Tibidabo. Barcelona, 1917. Photography Olga Khokhlova. Gelatin silver print; 11.3 × 7 cm Musée national Picasso-Paris © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / imatge RMN-GP
“Arthur Cravan: Maintenant?”
Nephew of Oscar Wilde and mythical figure of the avant-garde and Dada movements, Arthur Cravan would make his way to Barcelona in 1916. The artist achieved fame through the non-conformist magazine Maintenant, of which he was director, editor and sole contributor, the other names featuring in the index being no more than pseudonyms. Five issues of Maintenant came out between 1912 and 1915; Cravan himself hawked them from a costermonger’s barrow. The director of the Museu Picasso, Emmanuel Guigon, curates and presents a selection of work by the artist, together with documentation of the most significant artistic and sporting events Cravan engaged in during the years of the Great War and the early 1920s.
Arthur Cravan, portrait with hat. 1917. Gelatin-silver prints. 8 x 6,6 cm. Marcel i David Fleiss Collection. Courtesy Galerie 1900-2000, Paris
“The Shared Studio: Picasso, Fín, Vilató and Xavier”
In 1939, J. Fín and Vilató were Spanish political refugees stranded on the beach of Argelès after the disaster of the Spanish Civil War. Their uncle Picasso took them from the camp in Argelès and brought them back to Paris with him. They spent several months there, before the outbreak of the Second World War. During their stay, Picasso brought them to the Lacourière studio, which is where the two young artists discovered the intaglio technique, which they would practice steadfastly. Each created his first engraving there. Marta-Volga de Minteguiaga-Guezala has curated the exhibition with the characteristics of this creative discipline in mind, emphasizing that printmaking involves shared complicity in the studio. A project on the transmission of Picasso’s art to those working with him, and their descendants as well: artists and artisans together.
David Douglas Duncan. Frelaut, Sabartés, Jacqueline and Picasso Looking at a Proof of The Tauromachy. La Californie, 1957. Modern inkjet digital print. Donació David Douglas Duncan, 2013
“Lucien Clergue: Twenty-Seven Encounters with Picasso”
Lucien Clergue (Arles, 1934 – Nimes, 2014) began his photographic career at an early age. On 5 April, 1953, he coincided with Picasso at a bullfight in Arles, where he photographed the artist and showed him some of his pictures. Two years later they met again at La Californie, Picasso’s home in Cannes. It was the beginning of a friendship what would last until Picasso’s death in 1973. Curated by Sílvia Domènech Fernández, this exhibition presents the snapshots taken of Picasso by photographer Lucien Clergue between 1953 and 1971. The first photographer to be named member of the Académie des Beaux Arts, Institut de France, Clergue took photographs that would become iconographic references to both the person and the artist, opening a window into his private life as well.
Written by the museum