Celebrating Picasso

From all I´ve read, nobody celebrated Picasso as much as he celebrated himself, but the El Paso Museum of Art has two complementary shows which do their part.
From the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City, Missouri comes a large show of black and white photographs of Picasso at home and in his studio starting in the mid-50’s  by war photographer David Douglas Duncan.
Duncan met Picasso in the mid ’50s, and they immediately hit it off to such an extent that he was invited to Picasso’s summer home in the south of France and allowed to document domestic life there and later in other places. There are photos of Picasso in his bathtub,  photos with Jacqueline Roque, his current wife , and other scenes of Picasso in his studio as well as with notables such as  Jean Cocteau.
These are large well detailed prints, though it should be noted they are ink jet prints rather than  the silver prints which would have been made at the time they were photographed.  These were printed in 2013 and donated to the museum  which has sent them out for everyone’s enjoyment. For those who are interested in this more intimate view of Picasso this is a great show.
Along with these photos, the El Paso museum has put on a display of international publicity posters for Picasso shows over the decades. This has been shown before, but it makes a nice companion piece, and there are some posters I don’t remember having seen such as the poster for an Italian exhibition from the 50’s which uses as an image  ¨Guernica¨ – an amazing choice for a country which just ten years before had been  on the other side. There are posters Picasso made to promote events in the town where he lived as well as posters by galleries which were holding exhibitions of his work.
I should mention that in the exhibit next door in the De Wetter gallery there is a Picasso print (which appears to have been printed backwards.)
Interestingly in the main hall, and seemingly unrelated to the show is a canvas owned by the museum by Francois Gilot, who, one might say, endured Picasso somewhat earlier. I don’t know if this was left up for the show as its been there awhile, but after looking at all the pictures of Picasso and Jacqueline, it’s a little nod to a previous  romance and a somewhat stormier time
-david sokolec


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