Nude in Black Armchair, Succession Picasso/Dacs London 2018
‘Picasso, 1932. Love, Fame, Tragedy’: the first personal exhibition that the Tate Modern dedicates to him, doing it in style. Face to face with over 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, interspersed with photographic material and looks on his private life.
Every myth about Pablo is swept away to read the man and the artist in all its complexity and its facets.
He said: ‘I paint in the same way that some write their autobiography. The paintings, complete or unfinished, are the pages of my personal diary’.
The exhibition is unmissable, curated by Acchim Borchardt-Hume, in collaboration with the Picasso National Museum in Paris.
1932, a very intense year for the father of Cubism.
The exquisite Nude on a black armchair shows a balanced beauty and such sensuality that there is no choice but to stop and watch it. The more you look, the more you see. First we see a naked woman reclining on a black chair, under a proud sun, visible behind a window partially hidden by leaves of an interior plant. Titian, Manet and Matisse respectively with Venus, Olimpia and L’Odalisque with Magnolia are clearly present in the work. Hidden between the lines. Then, the personal story of Picasso emerges: traces of the blue from its first period, disjointed parts of the body that echo the cubist years, lines drawn from its post-war primitivism and that dreamy trait coming from the recent interest in Surrealism.
In reality, in the final analysis, it is his soul that emerges in the masterpiece: hypnotized, poetic, erotic, even sonorous. It is a love painting fluidly emitted in the harmonious lines of the artist and in the balance of his colors.
Through the exhibition, we look at masterpieces but also works, as Will Gompertz writes for BBC News, much less successful works, which is almost a relief, he jokingly writes, given the boundless genius of the artist in question. The result is a brilliant Picasso and a more human, experimental Picasso.
It is certainly an exhibition that offers in vision a sort of ‘what’s going on here?’ , question that concerns the year 1932: it was what perhaps the artist asked himself, in his experiments sometimes successful , sometimes less successful, but certainly so beyond the boundaries to be incomparable for the audacity of the research. An impressive year for the level of work created, no doubt.
One wonders which painter today challenges the vehicle in the same way Picasso was able to do it 80 years ago.
Faced with the works on display, the certainty of the greatness of his being an artist is evident.
1932 was an extraordinary year for Picasso: his paintings reached such a level of sensuality and perfection that definitively decreed his status. It was also an important year from a sentimental point of view: he tried to maintain a balance between his wife Olga Khokhlova and her 11-year-old son and his love affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, 28 years younger than him.
The exhibition brings to life these complex artistic and personal dynamics through a series of extraordinary works, some of which have never been exhibited before and part of prestigious private collections.