Cleveland (June 18, 2020) — Pablo Picasso’s prolonged engagement with paper is the subject of the groundbreaking exhibition Picasso and Paper, organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Featuring masterworks in a variety of media, including drawings, prints, photographs, sketchbooks, collages, cut-outs, paper sculpture, and book illustrations, as well as works in oil on canvas and cast bronze, Picasso and Paper will be on view at the CMA from September 22 to December 13, 2020, in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall and Gallery.
“We are excited to welcome our visitors back to the Cleveland Museum of Art for the highly anticipated, blockbuster exhibition Picasso and Paper,” said William Griswold, director of the CMA. “The centerpiece of our fall arts season, Picasso and Paper presents a rare opportunity for visitors to experience the artist’s creative process and artistic achievement with paper as a medium. The CMA is the only North American venue for this remarkable exhibition.”
Showcasing nearly 300 works spanning the artist’s entire career, the exhibition offers new insights into Picasso’s creative spirit and working methods. His relentless exploration of working on and with paper is featured in the many assembled collages of cut-and-pasted papers, sculptures from pieces of torn and burnt paper, documentary photographs and manipulated photographs on paper, and an array of printmaking techniques on paper supports.
Among the highlights are Femmes à leur toilette of 1937–38, an extraordinary, large collage (2.99 x 4.48 meters) of cut-and-pasted papers, which will be exhibited in the U.S. for the first time in 40 years; outstanding Cubist papiers collés; artist’s sketchbooks, including studies for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon; constructed paper guitars from the Cubist and Surrealist periods; and an array of works related to major paintings and sculptural projects.
“Nowhere is Picasso’s astonishing creativity more evident than in his lifelong engagement with paper,” said William H. Robinson, senior curator of modern art. “His exploration of so many different mediums and types of paper, his formal inventiveness and range of subjects, his remarkable technical skills and disregard for conventional materials, especially when considered collectively over the eight decades of his working life, is mind boggling. Paper was often at the center of his world, crucial to his ceaseless sketching and experiments with Cubist collage. Picasso’s unparalleled achievements with paper represents a major contribution to the history of art.”
Picasso and Paper is organized chronologically in 11 sections, displayed in context with a limited number of closely related paintings and sculptures. For example, Picasso’s seminal masterpiece of his Blue period, the CMA’s La Vie (1903), will be presented with preparatory drawings and other works on paper exploring corresponding themes of poverty, despair and social alienation. In the Cubist section, Picasso’s bronze Head of a Woman (Fernande) (1909) on loan from the Musée national Picasso-Paris will be accompanied by a group of associated drawings.
Extensive information about each section of Picasso and Paper and a selection of visual highlights can be accessed in the exhibition's press kit.
Picasso and Paper is curated by William H. Robinson of the CMA, Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Emilia Philippot of the Musée national Picasso-Paris.
Information about reserving tickets for Picasso and Paper will be announced in July.
Picasso and Paper is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. It features reproductions of nearly 400 works of art and a series of insightful new texts by distinguished Picasso scholars and leading authorities in various aspects of technical art history. The catalogue reveals the myriad ways in which Picasso explored the potential of paper at different stages of his career.
Featured essays are authored by William H. Robinson of the Cleveland Museum of Art; Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Emilia Philippot of the Musée national Picasso-Paris; and Claustre Rafart Planas of the Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Specific aspects of Picasso’s engagement with paper are addressed by Christopher Lloyd, an expert on Picasso’s drawings; Stephen Coppel, curator of prints and drawings at the British Museum; Violette Andres, photography curator at the Musée national Picasso-Paris; Johan Popelard of the University of Paris; and Emmanuelle Hincelin, a paper conservator with scientific expertise in the types of paper Picasso used at key moments in his career.
The catalogue is available for purchase at the online museum store.
•Hardcover $60 ($51 for members).
•Softcover $40 ($34 for members).
The museum’s current hours of operation are Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays.
For more information about the museum’s new safety procedures, please view the FAQ sheet on the museum’s website at cma.org.
Picasso and Paper is organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris.
Gertrude Kalnow Chisholm and Homer D. W. Chisholm
Bill and Joyce Litzler
Anne H. Weil
Gail and Bill Calfee
Florence Kahane Goodman
Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner
Dr. Conrad and Patricia Simpfendorfer
Claudia Woods and David Osage
Carol Yellig Family Fund
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
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