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Picasso: Black and White

by Hollie Moat

The Picasso: Black and White exhibition

At the mention of the eccentric and iconic artist Pablo Picasso, the mind doesn’t instantly wander to black and white, to thoughtful observations on light and shade. Rather, the Spaniard’s name conjures up images of wild colour and experimental, distorted shapes.


New York's Guggenheim Museum

Yet so prolific in his output of monochrome work was Picasso that Friday saw the opening of an exhibition in New York on just that. Picasso: Black and White will now run at the Guggenheim (one of the Big Apple’s most directional buildings, designed by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright in the Fifties) until January 23rd 2013, and is made up of 118 paintings, sculptures and drawings that focus on Picasso’s lifelong exploration of a black and white palette.


Pablo Picasso

One of the most influential artists of the 20st century thanks to his distinctive cubist pieces, Picasso was a prodigy from birth (his mother claimed his first word was pencil), and made his name in Paris in the early 1900s when he was in his Twenties, and remains celebrated long after his death.


The Milliner’s Workshop (Atelier de la modiste) 1926 by Picasso (in the exhibit)

The work featured in this exhibit ranges from 1904 to 1971, just a couple of years before he died, and consists of a mixture of war-themed pieces, surrealist inspired figures and still lives chosen to juxtapose his isolated use of just black, white and grey with the complexities and effect of the work on the mind.


Head of a Horse, Sketch for Guernica by Picasso (in the exhibit)

Curated by Picasso scholar Carmen Giménez, the exhibit features pieces that have never been exhibited before, including loans from the Picasso estate and critics have already said that it offers new insights into Picasso’s working methods.


The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas, after Velázquez) by Picasso (in the exhibit)

Picasso: Black and White is on at New York’s Guggenheim Museum from 5th October 2012 – 23rd January 2013. http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/picasso-black-and-white
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