Picasso Exhibition in Florida Features Art Never Shown in US | Florida News

By MAGGIE DUFFY, Tampa Bay Times

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Crowds flocked to the Dalí Museum on a chilly Tuesday morning in February to see an exhibition of works by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso — proof that after all these years, his work is still a draw.

“Picasso and the Lure of the South” explores Picasso’s creative periods during his travels and in his studios in southern Europe, in the mountain towns of northern Spain and along the Mediterranean coast of France.

Organized in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris, which holds the most important collection of works by the artist, the solid exhibition presents 79 paintings, drawings and collages covering 65 years from 1907 to 1972. About half of the works are not have never been seen in the United States before. The exhibition is presented exclusively at the Dalí and was curated by William Jeffett, the museum’s chief curator.

Since Picasso is synonymous with Cubism, a style that still baffles many viewers and draws comparisons to the work a child might do, his history and principles are explained in the exhibit. A wall tag calls cubism a “stylistic experiment in which multiple viewpoints are combined into a single image often depicting a figure, still life, or landscape.” Picasso and Georges Braque invented the technique, which had its peak from around 1909 to 1914; examples of Picasso’s early work from this period are included in the exhibit.

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As part of the installation, names of towns and landscapes in northern Spain and southern France feature on the walls and floors, giving meaning to the places that inspired Picasso, including Cadaques and Figueres in Spain and Cannes and Céret in France. There are references to the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees Mountains. In these places, cubism evolved and allowed Picasso to dialogue with his artist friends who were attracted by panoramas, poetry, art and music.

After 1914, Cubism was no longer so popular, as other movements, such as Surrealism, took center stage. Picasso always reinvented his style, but elements of cubism remained in his work throughout his life.

In 1920, Picasso moved from cubism to realism and worked in Juan-les-Pins, a town on the Côte d’Azur on the shores of the Mediterranean. A photograph showing Picasso lying on the beach gives an idea of ​​the relaxed lifestyle that made the area so attractive. Two works he created, Landscape at Juan-les-Pins (1920) and Luncheon on the Grass, after Manet (1961), are presented side by side. In landscape, Picasso pushes the boundaries of cubism while depicting colorful houses and pleasant weather. It redefines Manet’s luncheon painting by rendering all the reclining figures nude and shifting the viewer’s female gaze to the male figure.

The musicians who played in the cafés and streets of Céret were a great inspiration for Picasso. There are many works on paper representing various instruments and musicians, as well as the painting Musician, from 1972, proof that he was inspired by the subject throughout his life.

Picasso had a great passion for bullfighting, and a section of the exhibition is devoted to this fervor. He produced dramatic paintings of bullfights, including Corrida: Mort du torero. In 1933, after a 25-year ban on female bullfighters was lifted, he introduced a figure based on bullfighter Juanita Cruz in etchings. These engravings also refer to his intense affair with the French model Marie-Thérèse Walter.

There are 45 photographs of Picasso in the exhibition, revealing an envious lifestyle. There are a few of them in one of his studios, wearing only white boxers. A birthday party shows Picasso with a carafe of wine with his friend, the French poet Jean Cocteau, who is holding a glass of wine.

In keeping with The Dalí’s effort to blend art and technology, guests can transform into a Cubist painting with Your Portrait, which uses artificial intelligence technology. It’s also educational, explaining the principles of cubism while reading your face and background. What it does best, besides giving you a whole new look, is exemplifying the kind of vision Picasso had when he pioneered Cubism over 100 years ago.

“Picasso and the Lure of the South” remains on view at the Dalí Museum until May 22. $12 – $29. Advance timed tickets are required. Masks are mandatory. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. It will be closed February 25-27 due to the Firestone Grand Prix. 1 Dalí Blvd (Bayshore Drive and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg. 727-823-3767. thedali.org.

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Christopher S. Washington