The VMFA welcomes international Picasso exhibit

Julie Dinisio
Contributing Writer

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opened its highly anticipated new exhibit, “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso Paris” while celebrating its 75th anniversary on Saturday, Feb 19.

Declared as a “landmark exhibit” by the VMFA’s website, the Picasso collection showcases 176 pieces and is traveling to seven cities across the globe while the Musée National Picasso Paris is remodeled.

The VMFA describes the collection as “the largest and most significant repository of the artist’s work in the world,” showing personal works of Picasso.

Suzanne Hall, from the Communications Office of the VMFA, said, “This is the largest and most prestigious exhibit in the history of the museum.”

She also said the Picasso exhibit is “the cream of the crop from the Musée National Picasso’s collection.” According to Hall, the exhibit is a $5 million dollar commitment for VMFA and the most expensive exhibition in the museum’s history.

The museum set aside 10 rooms for the exhibit, which include eight decades worth of the artist’s work.  Though Picasso is most famously known as being a founder of the Cubist movement, his personal collection encompasses all of his many artistic styles, like “Celestina, the Woman with One-Eye,” a realistic painting from his Blue Period.

Picasso’s friends and mistresses greatly affected his artistic expressions. The exhibit includes both paintings and photographs of Olga Khokhlova, a Russian ballerina and his wife. “Reading (La Lecture)” is an abstract portrait of his 17-year-old mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter. Later on in his life, Picasso was inspired by political activist Dora Maar and assigned her a particular style, most famously exemplified by his work “Portrait of Dora Maar.”

“Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso” also features Picasso’s sculptures, like “The Bathers.” This set of sculptures shows six bronze figures made up of mundane objects like broom handles and shovels.

Many of Pablo Picasso’s quotes are placed on the exhibit walls. Overlooking one room is Picasso’s statement, “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” His words flow from room to room with his vast array of sketches, paintings and sculptures.

This acclaimed exhibit will be at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art until May 15. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $16 with a valid student ID and entry is free for VMFA members.

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