The Paris Musée National Picasso is delighted to work with the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome and publishers Mondadori Electa for the exhibition "Picasso Images: the Works, the Artist, the Personality" dedicated to this pivotal 20th century artist's lifelong relationship with photography.
The project is based on a wealth of photographic material from the Musée Picasso. The exhibition is organised into three parts containing 176 photographic prints shot between 1901 and 1971, together with roughly 30 paintings, sculptures, sketches and prints by the artist. In the period between 1901 and 1921 Picasso discovered photography and began to experiment: he tried shooting film, he appeared in the shots, mostly in his studio amidst his canvases, then analysed some of the material in order to translate them into paintings. Between 1932 and 1962 Picasso, now an affirmed artist, abandoned photography. In 1932 he encountered Brassaï when his sculptures were published in the magazine “Minotaure”. His new partner Dora Maar entered his life in 1936 and recorded the genesis of Guernica. In 1954 Picasso took young André Villers under his wing, who used cutouts of the artist to create photographic frames and overlays, in part published in the book “Diurnes” (1962), with poems by Jacques Prévert.
After the Second World War Picasso cultivated his image as a modern artist in the illustrated press, which became hugely popular. He sat for photographers like Robert Capa, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Lucien Clergue, David Douglas Duncan, Robert Doisneau and Edward Quinn, whose work was widely published in magazines, as well as posing for more intimate portraits. Picasso deliberately used these images to construct his “aura”. The organisers hope this exhibition represents an occasion to rediscover the creative genius of Pablo Picasso through the polysemy of images which left their impression both on his works and his life. The Paris Musée National Picasso-Paris also wishes to thank all those who have contributed to the realisation of this project and in particular the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, Mondadori Electa and the Rome Municipal Council for their support.