© Sucesión Pablo Picasso. VEGAP, 2022.
Picasso Celebration 1973-2023: 50 exhibitions and events to celebrate Picasso
April 8, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and thus the year will represent a celebration of his work and his artistic legacy in France, Spain and internationally.
The French and Spanish governments wished to mark this transnational event through a bi-national commission, bringing together the cultural and diplomatic administrations of both countries. The Picasso Celebration 1973 - 2023 revolves around some fifty exhibitions and events to be held at renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America that, together, address a historiographical analysis of Picasso’s work. The commemoration, accompanied by official celebrations in France and Spain, will make it possible to take stock of the research and interpretations of the artist’s work, especially during an important international symposium in autumn 2023, which also coincides with the opening of the Center for Picasso Studies in Paris.
The Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Spanish National Commission for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso are pleased to support this exceptional program.
Program development of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 Spain
April 8, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and thus the year will represent a celebration of his work and his artistic legacy in France, Spain and internationally. For this occasion, the French and Spanish governments have decided to organize a large-scale transnational event through a bi-national commission, bringing together the cultural and diplomatic administrations of both countries. As a member of this dedicated commission, the Musée national Picasso-Paris is pleased to be one of the initiators of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 alongside Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, co-president of the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, and José Guirao, former Minister and General Director of the Fundación Montemadrid who passed away in july 2022 and whose work will be continued by Mr. Carlos Alberdi. Supported by renowned cultural institutions in Europe and the United States, the program of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 will be structured around some fifty exhibitions and events that, as a whole, trace a historiographical approach to Picasso's work.
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga on October 25, 1881 and died in the French town of Mougins on April 8, 1973. Picasso is one of the most important figures of modern art. His expressive, free and multiform style continues to influence contemporary art and debate today. The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 aims to highlight the career of an essentially European artist who, with a deep knowledge of the heritage and principles of tradition, as well as an understanding of both classicism as an ethical value and of modern issues in art, has projected throughout the world universal symbols such as Guernica, today a collective emblem of the defense of human rights.
In Europe and the United States, the exhibitions and associated programs of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 will therefore highlight the artist's influence throughout the 20th century and his continued reference for artists of the 21st century through a variety of approaches such as:
Picasso's global approach to the cultural heritage of Europe, starting from a deep knowledge of masters such as El Greco, Goya, Velázquez and Poussin, with whom he established a dialogue in the present, as he did with his contemporaries Joan Miró and Julio González.
The artist's need for constant evolution, approached through specific research, precise periods and their repercussions: his formative years, period of formation, the year of the "great transformation" of 1906, studies on the unfinished decoration of Hamilton Easter Field or the work of the late sixties and seventies. A distinctiveness that is also evident in the exhibitions that address his ongoing technical exploration, delving into disciplines such as ceramics or sculpture or the possibilities presented through writing, theater and dance, also present in the program.
Finally, the latest research and current reception of his work, including his prehistoric sources, Fernande Olivier's view at the beginning of his career, the impact of Picasso's work on contemporary art or the reception of his work under the prism of feminism.
With this in mind, the commemoration will provide an opportunity to review the state of research and understanding of Picasso's work, notably during a first symposium at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid at the end of 2022, followed by a major international symposium in December 6-7-8, 2023 at Unesco in Paris. The latter will bring together all the partners (museum institutions, research centers, researchers) around "Picasso in the 21st century: Historical and cultural issues"). Art historians, curators, and conservators, as well as artists, writers and collectors will be invited to participate.
The year 2023 will also be marked by the opening of the Center for Picasso Studies at the Musée national Picasso-Paris in the historic, prestigious and renovated spaces of the Hôtel de Rohan. The museum's documentation, library and archives will thus be brought together around a research center and a digital portal that will make the Picasso museum a unique reference point for the artist and his related fields. A true place of sharing with a wide public, it will serve as a privileged space for scientific exchanges and the work of researchers from around the world.
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Adrien Didierjean © Succession Picasso 2022