Genie or monster? In any case, inexhaustible subject of fascination. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is celebrated through some forty exhibitions around the world, promising to explore all his facets.
"Picasso eats everything and apparently we're still hungry," laughs Olivier Widmaier-Picasso, his grandson, interviewed by AFP. He says he is "fascinated by the number of museum curators, historians and researchers who continue to find angles of study".
The ceramics of Picasso, Picasso and feminism, white at Picasso, Picasso under the eye of famous photographers, the young Picasso in Paris, Picasso sculptor... The monument is combined in all sauces within the framework of "his year ", celebrated in France and Spain.
He remains "above all", considers Bernard Blistène, honorary president of the Center Pompidou in Paris, praising, like other specialists, unanimous, the "genius" of the father of "Guernica" and the "Demoiselles d 'Avignon'.
"The devastating power of Picasso's work compared to that of others, the permanent invention, the crossing of all the great currents of modernity, the experimentation for more than 80 years (Picasso painted until his death at 91, editor's note), the desire to please and displease... All of this is unmatched," he added to AFP.
And after hundreds of exhibitions devoted to him, he remains an "inexhaustible" museum resource, adds Emmanuel Guigon, director of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
With the movement
Former curator of the Picasso Museum, Emilie Bouvard hopes that this anniversary will mark "the beginning of a salutary process" on the way in which we approach this "popular" artist, who "embodied a commitment that we continue to talk about and presented himself like a man close to everyone and who was".
"We must stop talking about the women who went through his life as muses. Some committed suicide, others sank into madness. The only one who got out of it was Françoise Gilot, also alone at the 'having left,' she adds.
A painter now based in the United States, she described Picasso as a "tyrannical, superstitious and selfish being" in a bestselling book "Living with Picasso", published in 1964.
"Beyond his machismo, Picasso is someone who appropriated things, beings, possessed them with paroxysmal feelings of suffering, of pain. He was interested in archaic questions of the self and the related violence with a certain courage but he made those around him drool. To approach this question is to speak differently but with accuracy of Picasso", continues Ms. Bouvard.
"Violence" and "sexuality in art" are themes addressed during a cycle of conferences in Paris, while an exhibition on Picasso and feminism will open in June at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, curated by exhibition the actress Hannah Gadsby, particularly virulent against Picasso in a successful show on Netflix.
Less controversial and more festive, in Paris, the museum that bears his name has been transformed by British designer Paul Smith.
"A bet" for the director of the museum, Cécile Debray, whose institution pilots the commemorations in France and which "is not intended to be a mausoleum".
On the contrary, the objective is to "open up to debates and reflection on Picasso in order to reread the work and show its vitality", she underlines.
In addition to the exhibitions, many conferences are planned this year, as well as the inauguration in the fall in Paris of a research center, close to the Picasso museum, and an international symposium at the same time at Unesco.
04/01/2023 05:19:55 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP