Unprecedented Picasso exhibition in Lugano: relationship between drawings and sculpture under scrutiny

An exhibition dedicated to Picasso and the relationship between drawing and sculpture in his production opens at the Museo d'Arte della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano.

Entitled Picasso. A Different Look the exhibition scheduled at the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana (MASI) in Lugano from March 18 to June 17, 2018. The exhibition intends to pay homage to the best-known of the Cubist painters, Pablo Picasso (Málaga, 1881 - Mougins, 1973), with an itinerary entirely dedicated to the relationship between drawing and sculpture in order to offer, as per the title of the exhibition (which is realized in collaboration with the Musée Picasso in Paris and is curated by Carmen Giménez) a different and unprecedented look at his production, in order to grasp the evolution of his language.

There are 120 works on display (105 drawings and 15 sculptures), made in a period between 1905 and 1967: the whole of Picasso’s activity is thus documented. “The selection,” reads the presentation, “offers a never-before-seen perspective of his creativity, shedding light on the artist’s role in the development of 20th-century art with particular attention to works unknown to the general public, not only because of their rarity, but also because of their ability to broaden conventional interpretations of his work. Works on paper, closely related to the most intimate Picasso, prevail in the exhibition, alongside sculptures: two of the artist’s favored techniques, rarely placed in dialogue with each other.” The exhibition also promises to present an “unknown Picasso” through the display of some of his most personal works by putting the spotlight on some lesser-known aspects of his production.

All the works are on loan from the Musée Picasso in Paris, where the most comprehensive collection of Picasso’s work is kept. The tour is divided into two sections, one for works on paper, the other for sculpture. The drawings section will offer visitors the opportunity to discover how Picasso had tried his hand at a wide variety of techniques: watercolors, collage, pastels, chalk, charcoal, ink. The result is a large sampler of variations that give an idea of the Spanish artist’s great creativity. Among the drawings on display in Lugano are a Nu debout (“Standing Nude”) from 1910, the 1914 still life Verre, bouteille de vin, paquet de tabac, journal (“Glass, wine bottle, tobacco packet, newspaper”), and again a 1919 portrait of Dérain, as well as drawings from 1936 in preparation for the Guernica undertaking. As for sculpture, emphasis will be placed on how the artist looked to his contemporaries (such as Giacometti, Calder, Julio González) to create works that broke completely away from tradition: in the exhibition the public will be able to see three female heads, the 1913 Mandoline et clarinette and the 1915 Violon, the 1950 “Goat,” and several other works.

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m. Closed Mondays. Prices: full 20 Swiss francs (17 euros), reduced 14 francs (12 euros). Monday, March 19, free special opening financed by Credit Suisse, MASI Lugano’s main partner. Information and online ticket sales at www.masilugano.ch. Catalog in Italian and English published by Edizioni Casagrande.

Pictured: Pablo Picasso, Glass, wine bottle, tobacco packet, newspaper (March 1914; Papier collé with charcoal highlights, pencil, blue pencil and watercolor, 49 x 64 cm; Paris, Musée national Picasso)

Unprecedented Picasso exhibition in Lugano: relationship between drawings and sculpture under scrutiny
Unprecedented Picasso exhibition in Lugano: relationship between drawings and sculpture under scrutiny

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