When it comes to contemporary art, the name Picasso is most eloquent, and comes in as a reference. For another few weeks, the Grand Palais museum in Paris hosts an original collection of 100 works of the master, exposed in a comparative perspective with another 200 great works from other masters, mostly disciples. The show puts Picasso’s influence and legacy into perspective. The exposition requires at least two hours to go through the copious amount of works displayed!
GRAND PALAIS, NATIONAL GALLERY
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower
Phone : 00 33 (0)1 44 13 17 17
Open from 10am to 8pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, late night openings on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 10 pm, closed on Tuesdays. Last access 45 minutes before closing time.
The term “mania” could rarely be more accurate when it comes to the evocation of an artist who represents not only an exceptionally rich and prodigal work such as Picasso, but also an individual who transcends style to become a world of its own, an emblem of modern visual art, and a constant source of both inspiration and trouble for artists who followed him. This show comes seven years after the “Picasso and his masters” exposition in Paris, giving us another perspective on the man’s story. Works are often displayed in the way they would have been in the master’s workshop. One of the most interesting aspects of the exposition is probably how it shows the accuracy and relevance of Picasso’s aesthetic in times to come, since image and vision have never been so important at any time in civilization. And few artists focused so much attention when it comes to discussions on contemporary art. Hence, this show presents an interesting feature of the Picasso dimension: what did the master inspire in terms of fear, controversy, admiration and respect to the ones who followed him. Whatever the case, Picasso had a rarely seen influence on those after him, even in the circumstances where he created opposite movements… He consistently inspired, and in many cases, changed artists’ art and lives. Thus, the exposition presents artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Martin Kippenberger and Jeff Koons. Such a major artist influenced different artists in different ways, sometimes acting as a crushing figure, but acting most of the time as a powerful stimulant. Jeff Koons said of him that he “opened my horizons”… When it comes to Picasso, he certainly wasn’t the only one to have felt that…
It is perhaps even more interesting to notice how the master influenced aesthetics in a variety of ways: from the technique of self portrait, to his irrefutable presence in the world of modern pop art, and of course the legacy left by his attempts to redefine modern art through cubism, with precepts of depicting reality which is now a dominant feature of pictorial art in the 21st century.