Museums in Spain commemorate 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death

by Lorraine Williamson
Pablo Picasso -

Next year will be 50 years since Pablo Picasso passed away. Preparations to discuss this in detail are now in full swing: the important Spanish museums will shed light on the work of this world-famous Malagueño from different angles. 

A special National Commission for the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death has been established. Consequently, in collaboration with Spanish museums, the artist’s work will be put in the spotlight for a year. Furthermore, it will highlight the great role Picasso played in the development of modern art from the 20th century. 

Picasso in Madrid 

In 2023, Picasso will feature in exhibitions from Madrid’s three major museums: the Museo del Prado, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and the Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is added to this list and, of course, the two Picasso museums in Málaga and Barcelona are not missing. These two museums will also celebrate their 20th and 60th anniversary respectively next year. 

Two exhibitions already started 

Moreover, two exhibitions on Picasso are already open. Until May 15, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid will show ‘Picasso, Rostros y Figuras’ (Faces and Body Shapes) featuring 58 works by the artist, including paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Moreover, Picasso studied at this Academy of Fine Arts in the Spanish capital in 1897 and 1898. The objects on display span the period from Picasso’s early Cubism to his most recent works. The painting ‘Mujer’ from 1907, which is considered to be the work on which Picasso based his world-famous ‘Les Demoisselles de Avignon’, can be seen, among others. 

Influences of old masters 

Furthermore, until June 26, the special exhibition ‘Cara a cara. Picasso y los maestros antiguos’ (Eye to Eye. Picasso and the Old Masters). This exhibition highlights the influences classical masters such as El Greco, Diego Bejarano, and Francisco Pacheco had on Picasso’s work and how he transformed ancient traditions into revolutionary modern art. 

“Picasso y Chanel” 

On October 11, the Picasso exhibition in the Madrid Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza starts. It mainly focuses on Picasso’s dialogue with other modern artists, with special attention to fashion. The exhibition is therefore called ‘Picasso y Chanel’. 

Blue period is central to Barcelona 

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona will start on April 5 with the exhibition ‘Picasso proyecto azul’ (Picasso project blue). This focuses on technical studies from the artist’s blue period, based on works from the museum’s own collection. Different aspects of these works are discussed, from the creative process to the materials used, the distribution of the different color layers, and the interrelationship between the works from this specific period. 

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