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Picasso: Drawing from Life

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  • A separate $5 exhibition ticket is required for this exhibition. Please note that members never need museum or exhibition tickets.

While often presented as an artistic genius, a singular force solely responsible for his creative output, Pablo Picasso would not have achieved the immense success he did without the many people who supported him.

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Reclining Nude (Sleeping Woman), September 5, 1969

Pablo Picasso. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This exhibition, centered on the artist’s works on paper, brings into focus Picasso’s life and art as it intersected with a network of artists, dealers, printers, family members, and lovers. The many women with whom he had passionate and sometimes volatile relationships inspired him and are frequently represented in his art, as are several friends and family members. A complex person, Picasso represented his subjects with both tenderness and aggression. Behind-the-scenes, the printers and dealers with whom Picasso collaborated helped him realize and bring attention to thousands of works. These partnerships, both professional and personal, allowed Picasso to gain international renown.

Featuring over 60 works—drawings, prints, and illustrated books, along with a handful of paintings and a sculpture—the exhibition spans his rich and varied 70-year career. Arranged chronologically, the presentation moves from Picasso’s student years in Barcelona, Spain, to his formative and collaborative invention of Cubism in Paris in 1908 and on to his return to representation in the 1920s. Picasso’s production exploded in the 1930s; fueled by his tumultuous personal life and the horrors of WWII, his imagery ranged from war-torn victims to predatory mythological creatures. His last two decades were marked by continued creative experimentation as Picasso, now personally and financially secure, largely retreated into his studio in the south of France.

Presented on the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death, this exhibition joins hundreds of presentations around the world in celebrating Picasso.

Picasso: Drawing from Life is curated by Jay A. Clarke, Rothman Family Curator, Prints and Drawings, and Emily Ziemba, director, curatorial administration, Prints and Drawings.


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