London Exhibitions: Picasso 1932 at Tate Modern

Added on by Miguel Sopena.

I'm not the biggest fan of Picasso's work (it tends to leave me cold) but the current exhibition at Tate Modern is incredibly informative and thought-provoking and probably a must if you have any interest in 20th century art.

The exhibition focuses on Picasso's (truly phenomenal) output in just one year, 1932. Picasso had just turned fifty and had long been well-established and wealthy, but critics apparently questioned whether he was still capable of producing truly groundbreaking work. He had been married to Russian dancer Olga Khoklova since 1918 but had been in a (supposedly) secret relationship with the much younger Marie Thérèse Walter since around 1927, and it is Walter's likeness that appears in many of the paintings in the exhibition (Picasso often painted the female figure, not from life, but recognisably inspired by one or another of his romantic interests). Picasso was also working towards his first major retrospective in Paris in June of that year, which must have provided some extra motivation to prove himself (even though he was in full control of the exhibition, Picasso famously refused to attend the opening and went to the cinema instead).

Whatever you think of Picasso's art (I personally think he was more interested in experimenting formally than in truly speaking from his heart), the Tate exhibition proves his undeniable boldness and creative energy. Also (and whilst being no expert in Picasso's oeuvre), I felt that the selection of work brought together for this exhibition (and drawing from a broad variety of formats and techniques -drawing, painting and sculpture) is consistently strong.

Finishes 9 September.


Picasso, Reclining Nude (1932)

Picasso, Reclining Nude (1932)