It’s Picasso’s most famous and discussed work. “Guernica” was the artist’s response to the Luftwaffe’s bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Some 1,654 civilians died. Nazi Germany was supporting General Francisco Franco and his Nationalists in their attempt to overthrow the Republican government, a fight he eventually won.
Now the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, which houses the work, is honoring its 75th anniversary with a new exhibition titled “Encounters with the 1930s.” This show examines the crucial decade through its art, looking at the various artistic movements and how they grappled with the increasingly polarized political landscape of Europe.
More than 400 exhibits are divided into six sections: realism; abstraction; international expositions; surrealism; photography, film and posters; and Spain: the Second Republic, the Civil War and exile. The museum is also hosting a film series titled “Cinema of the 1930s.”
This exhibition comes at a time when the old divisions from the Spanish Civil War are beginning to reemerge. This excellent article on the BBC goes into more detail.
“Encounters with the 1930s” runs from October 3-January 7, 2013.
[Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
In the first of a series of events to commemorate the upcoming centennial of World War I, the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France is hosting “1917,” an exhibition of artistic life during that bloody conflict.
While millions were dying on the battlefield, the arts were flourishing in Europe. Much of it was centered on, or a reaction to, the most terrible war the world had yet seen. A large portion of the exhibit is devoted to trench art made by soldiers at the front line. Some drew sketches of their lives; others did creative things with the detritus of war, like the goblets made from artillery shells shown here.
Works from artists on the home front are exhibited too. The star attraction is Pablo Picasso’s largest work, the giant painted theater curtain he made for Parade, a ballet directed by Serge Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes. This impressive work is more than 30 feet long and is rarely displayed due to its size.
In all, “1917” gives us a snapshot into a crucial year in the development of modern art. The show runs until September 24.
[Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
Sometimes stereotypes live up to expectations. Paris has long been known as a city of artists, where aspiring painters/poets/writers go to light the spark of creativity that will make them famous. Of course most of them fail, but some succeed, and that feeds the legend. Pablo Picasso was one of the success stories.
Picasso went to Paris in 1900, when he he was 19, unknown, and striving to find his own style. Paris was full of avant-garde artists and the galleries were displayed the work of artists such as Modigliani, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. Picasso got to meet many of these big names. This photo, courtesy Wikimedia Commons, shows from left to right Modigliani, Picasso, and André Salmon in front the Café de la Rotonde. Being in such creative company helped the artist grow.
A new exhibition at the Pablo Picasso Museum in Barcelona examines these formative years in the life of one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. Feasting on Paris: Picasso 1900-1907 features sixty works by Picasso as well as twenty works from the artists whom he most admired. The juxtaposition of his and others’ art shows the sources of his inspiration, and how he turned that inspiration into a distinctive style of his own.
Feasting on Paris: Picasso 1900-1907 runs from July 1 to October 16.
It’s appropriate that this cable car in Montserrat, Spain leads to a monastery, because I’d be praying the whole ride that we made it safely. Perhaps other visitors are less height-adverse because this is one of the most important religious sites in Spain, with many people making the trek each year up the mountain to pray at the sanctuary. It’s not just for pilgrims: Santa Maria de Montserrat is home to one of the oldest printing presses in the world, a museum with such art biggies as Picasso and Dali, and a nature park with some stunning views of Catalonia. Want to visit? It’s about an hour from Barcelona, more visiting details here. Thanks to Flickr user othernel for making the climb.
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The Fall season has started at London’s British Museum with two excellent free exhibitions.
Images and sacred texts: Buddhism across Asia starts today. It covers Buddhist art and sacred literature from Sri Lanka to Japan and explains the core beliefs of what can be a difficult religion to understand. The artifacts are from the museum’s permanent collection–one of the biggest in the world–and include many items that have never been displayed before.
Picasso to Julie Mehretu: modern drawings from the British Museum collection started on October 7 and examines the interchange between artists over the past hundred years. It begins with Picasso, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, and ends with Julie Mehretu, an Ethiopian artist who is one of today’s most popular contemporary artists.
The British Museum is one of many free museums in London, including the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery, and National Portrait Gallery. This helps cut the cost of a trip to what is otherwise a very expensive destination. The British Museum is deservedly high on every visitor’s list because of its giant collection of artifacts from every ancient culture, from Egyptian mummies to Viking swords. The ongoing series of free exhibits gives repeat visitors a chance to see something new with every trip.
Picasso to Julie Mehretu: modern drawings from the British Museum collection will run until 25 April 2011. Images and sacred texts: Buddhism across Asia runs until 3 April 2011.