Presented during an exclusive Canadian engagement from June to September, 2021, Picasso. Bodies will feature paintings and drawings never before presented in Québec of one of the 20th century’s most important, prolific artists.
Designed by the Musée national Picasso-Paris (France) based on its remarkable collection, in collaboration with the MNBAQ, this new exhibition will assemble a selection of 76 works, including 45 major paintings produced between 1895 and 1972. The MNBAQ is focusing on a key facet to which Picasso devoted himself throughout his career, the multiform representation of the human body, and the exhibition will enable visitors to appreciate and, above all, become more aware of, unusual beauty.
Infinite exploration of the body
The exhibition, designed as a thematic retrospective, focuses on the representation of the body in Picasso’s work. The body was truly one of the artist’s favourite subjects, a fertile prism through which to grasp the numerous metamorphoses inherent in his work. From portraits to more allegorical representations, starting with classicism when Picasso was studying fine art, until the abstraction that is his hallmark, the body is the focus of projections and reflections that are at once intimate and aesthetic. In Picasso’s hands, the body is deconstructed, reconstructed, and constantly transformed, and turns into plastic figures that both reveal part of the history of this unusual genius and the history of artistic modernity.
The exhibition hinges on seven themes, Portraits, Cubist and Post-cubist Anatomies, The Magic of Bodies, On the Beach, Extreme Tension, Monsters, Nudes and Disguises, and will essentially encompass Picasso’s paintings and graphic artworks, ranging from the Spanish master’s formative years to the final canvases in the last period. It will also include a remarkable array of sculptures that evoke the multidisciplinary dimension of the work of this eternal explorer. The works include Man with a Guitar (1911), The Acrobat (1930), Figures by the Sea (1931), Jacqueline with Crossed Hands (1954) and Luncheon on the Grass, After Manet (1960), masterly paintings that represent the outstanding periods of the artist’s career.