As part of the international celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), the Fondation Beyeler from 19 February to 1 May 2023 presents in a small-format exhibition a condensed selection of ten late paintings by the master belonging to the Beyeler Collection, the Anthax Collection Marx and other private collections.
In the final decade of his life, the now over eighty-year-old Spanish master continued his epochal work in an extraordinarily productive way. With indomitable energy, Picasso in his last period of activity often executed several paintings in a single day, unleashing such inventive power that it seemed he wanted to fight against the advance of age and the consequent decline of creative and physical abilities. Among the numerous works created in the 1960s and early 1970s, a large group of works also stands out in which the artist intensely confronts the theme of the artist and his model. In these strongly expressive works Picasso investigates the artist's image (of himself) on the one hand and the creative act and the process of artistic development on the other.
Poised between different artistic codes, from the self-portrait to the stereotypical artist image and caricature, some paintings show the painter in a striped shirt, thus also evoking the image of Picasso already promoted to myth. As a kind of counterpoint to his own appearance, however, the artist often represents himself as a bearded man. Furthermore, Picasso most often depicts the artist painting live, in front of the model, which is not consistent with his typical way of working based on painting from memory. In this case, the nude model, whose representation also oscillates between idealization and caricature, is exposed to the artist's gaze.
It remains to be understood to what extent Picasso in these works exalts or mocks his own fixation for the female nude and the visual appropriation of the female body.
Thus, his series focused on the painter-model relationship also raises questions about man's personal and figurative approach to the female body and its representability in today's context.
The exhibition curated by Raphaël Bouvier intends to explore, through single emblematic paintings from Picasso's imposing late work, the artist's surveys in the territories of the creative process, of the gaze relationships between painter and model, of the representation of the male artist and also of the commissioning
pictorial scene of the female model, subjecting them to a verification of their actuality.
With his innumerable pictorial inventions, Pablo Picasso influenced the art of the 20th century like no other artist. Over 30 of his works are in the possession of the Fondation Beyeler, which therefore holds one of the most conspicuous Picasso collections in existence. Picasso is also the most represented modern artist in the Beyeler Collection. The works cover a period of time from the Cubist breakthrough in 1907 to the 1960s. About 15 other masterpieces by Picasso from the Beyeler Collection and the Anthax Collection Marx are exhibited in the rooms adjacent to the exhibition that house the permanent collection, thus offering a broad
panorama of Picasso's production.
The exhibition is generously supported by:
Hansjörg Wyss, Wyss Foundation
Title: Fondation Beyeler. PICASSO. Artist and model – latest paintings
Opening: February 19, 2023
Ending: May 01, 2023
Organization: Fondation Beyeler
Curator: Raphaël Bouvier
Place: Basel, Fondation Beyeler
Address: Baselstrasse 101 - 4125 Basel, Svizzera
More info on this website: https://www.fondationbeyeler.ch