Picasso at the Barnes

Picasso at the Barnes

Philadelphia Weekly
February 17, 2016
By Zari Tarazona

The work of the le­gendary Pablo Pi­cas­so is com­ing to the City of Broth­erly Love. The Barnes Found­a­tion in col­lab­or­a­tion with the Colum­bus Mu­seum of Art will bring Pi­cas­so: The Great War, Ex­per­i­ment­a­tion and Change to the city, along with work from Henri Ma­tisse, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Diego Rivera.

The ex­hib­it in­cludes 50 of Pi­cas­so’s works from 1912 to 1924 dur­ing the First World War, as well as fam­ily pro­grams for the kids, Pi­cas­so work­shops, and lec­tures based on the famed artist.

Pi­cas­so is mainly known for us­ing cu­bism, ex­cept for some of his work done dur­ing the First World War. Barnes Manging Cur­at­or Martha Lucy says that the dra­mat­ic fluc­tu­ations in Pi­cas­so’s style of work dur­ing the war is a fo­cus of the ex­hib­i­tion. “What happened dur­ing the war is cu­bism starts to take on polit­ic­al mean­ings even though artists didn’t mean for it to be polit­ic­al, cu­bist paint­ings star­ted to be in­ter­preted as anti-French, un­pat­ri­ot­ic; clas­si­cism on the oth­er hand was the way you were sup­posed to paint if you were a true pat­ri­ot.”

Dur­ing the war Pi­cas­so began to shift away from cu­bism to a more nat­ur­al­ist­ic style, however he did not com­pletely aban­don cu­bism. “He doesn’t have one style dur­ing the war and that in some ways is kind of the whole point of the show. It’s this very un­usu­al mov­ing back and forth between very frag­men­ted forms, kind of what you think of when you think of cu­bism where you can barely even make out what the sub­ject is and on the oth­er hand sort of con­ser­vat­ive al­most real­ist­ic,” Lucy says.

The ex­hib­it, which runs throughout May, in­cludes paint­ings, draw­ings, wa­ter­col­ors from the artist, as well as 10-foot-tall cu­bist cos­tumes he de­signed for the av­ant-garde bal­let, Parade.