New exhibitions opening this week in the north and south of Spain.
Whilst all eyes are on the Picasso exhibition currently taking place at the Grand Palais in Paris, an equally important offering opens today in the city of Picasso’s birth, Málaga, in the museum dedicated to its most famous son.
As I recently blogged, Málaga has been enjoying somewhat of a cultural resurgence over recent years, with heavy investment and a wealth of art institutions opening their doors. Amongst them is the Museo Picasso Málaga, created in 2003 in direct response to the artist’s desire that his work be permanently displayed in his birthplace. Opened by Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia no less, the permanent collection contains some 233 works by Picasso (with a further 43 on loan) spanning eight decades of his extensive career, 1892 to 1972 to be precise. The collection spans his earliest academic studies to his personal take on the classics and his reinvention of the Old Masters, his forays into Cubism and ceramics and his late paintings as produced in his final years.
To complement this impressive permanent collection, the Museo Picasso Málaga today launches its latest temporary exhibition, ‘Picasso. German Records’ this one devoted to the connections, affiliations and divergences between the work of Picasso and a select group of German contemporaries. Spanning the period 1905, the year in which Die Brücke (The Bridge) was established in Dresden, and 1955, when an international exhibition opened in Kassel, the exhibition presents works not only by Picasso, but by a wealth of German and international artists including Max Ernst, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Max Beckmann and both Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Younger.
Running until February 21st, 2016, the Museo Picasso Málaga is open daily from 10am until 6pm (7pm until the end of October; until 3pm on 24th & 31st December & 5th January; closed 25th December, 1st & 6th January) and entrance costs 10€ for both the permanent collection and temporary exhibition.
Of course, Málaga is not the only Spanish city to boast a museum devoted to Picasso, Barcelona has its very own version too. Housed in three beautiful stone mansions on the Carrer de Montcada, the Museu Picasso is Barcelona’s most visited museum and features the most important and complete collection of Picasso’s earlier works dating from 1895 to 1904, the years in which he lived in Barcelona. The museum has over 3,000 different pieces in its permanent portfolio including paintings, drawings, ceramics and engravings, with numerous works from his Blue Period exhibited alongside various representations of his later Rose Period.
Opening this coming Thursday (22nd October) and running through until 17th January, 2016, the Museu Picasso presents ‘Picasso’s Passion for El Greco’, the highlight of which will be El Greco’s Portrait of an Old Gentleman, on loan from the Prado Museum in Madrid. Picasso visited the Prado Museum to study El Greco’s works during his stay in Madrid from 1897 to 1898. When he returned to Barcelona he became involved with the circle of collectors, writers and admirers of the artist’s work and during this period, Picasso produced a number of drawings and paintings inspired by El Greco, best exemplified through his Blue Period, the start of his Cubist phase and the 1960s. Over 30 of these works are presented alongside El Greco’s masterpiece.
And whilst you’re there, you’ll also get to see another temporary exhibition taking place, this one devoted to Picasso’s friendship with a Barcelona family, the Reventós (running until 10th January, 2016). Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am until 7pm (9.30pm on Thursdays), entrance to the Museu Picasso (including the temporary exhibitions) costs 14€.