Picasso and Spanish Modernity

From now until January 25, 2015, Palazzo Strozzi is opening a window on modern art with its new exhibition focusing on one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century,Pablo Picasso.
“Picasso and Spanish Modernity” shows a selection of about 90 works in which we can see how Picasso’s genius has influenced other artists such as Miró, Dalí, Juan Gris and Julio Gonzalez, just to name a few.

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The pieces shown come from a time frame from 1910 to 1963. The exhibition’s guiding theme is exploring modernity through diverse Spanish cultural experiences.
Picasso maintained that painting always requires a constant representation of ourselves, a concept we see developed in paintings depicting the painter and his model. The two figures are separated by a canvas, as if to emphasize the separation of two worlds in which the woman represents both the plane of desire and that of artistic inspiration. Picasso was a versatile artist. His Cubist period is seen in “Head of a Woman”. His unending passion for women is clear in “Portrait of Dora Maar”, with angular shapes highlighting the woman’s confident gaze, as if she is challenging the artist. Miró‘s “Siurana, the Path” and Dalí‘s “Harlequin” are just two examples of references to Picasso that emanate a sense of anxiety and dissatisfaction. Picasso’s legacy was taken in a surrealist direction. Gris was inspired by Picasso (though his style is not imitative). He saw painting as architecture, a work making the abstract tangible. Ángel Ferrant‘s sculpture “Industrious Woman” creates a drawing in space, striving for a stylistic language tending towards abstraction.

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The exhibition culminates in the section “Towards Guernica: the Monster and the Tragedy.”. The first difference with the other rooms is the dark color of the walls contrasting with the light whiteness of the previous ones, so as to emphasize the dark anxiety of the subject. Visitors can see a series of preparatory studies that are like an experiment over time as the form and space constantly evolve into the final sketch of his “Guernica” masterpiece.
All of these artists helped bring Spain into the modern art world, Picasso in particular is considered an icon of creative innovation around the world.

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Palazzo Strozzi
September 20, 2014 ¬– January 25, 2015
Daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Thursdays until 11:00 pm.
Tickets: €10.00

English translation by Miriam Hurley

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