ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A landmark exhibition, Picasso and the Allure of the South, opens on January 29 at The Dali Museum. The exhibition’s 79 paintings, drawings and collages – approximately half of which have never been seen in the U.S. – are on loan from the Musee National Picasso-Paris and the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, New York. The Dali is the only venue worldwide to present this exhibition, which is curated by Dr. William Jeffett, The Dali Museum’s chief curator. The exhibit continues through May 22.
“Picasso and the Allure of the South offers a rare opportunity to experience the influence of northern Spain and southern France upon Picasso’s imagination as evidenced in his revolutionary work,” said Dr. Hank Hine, executive director of The Dali. “In that zone spanning borders, Picasso drew on the ancient impulses and cultural inspiration of this region – its peoples, poetry, music and energy – to create consummate works of art across genres.”
Picasso and the Allure of the South presents an exceptional selection of portraits, still lifes, figural studies and landscapes dating from 1909 to 1972 that reflect Picasso’s career-long rapport with the provinces of his homeland and southern France. It also incorporates a robust selection of archival photographs of Picasso, his friends and the regions that so powerfully impacted his vision. The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections that trace the importance of the geographic region to Picasso’s work and legacy.
The Birth of Cubism features a selection of drawings and collages that address how specific places in northern Spain and the French Mediterranean – far from the major cities of Paris and Barcelona – inspired Picasso’s early experimentation and the evolution of Cubism.
From Cubism to Realism examines Picasso’s shift to a more playful approach to Cubist idioms and considers how the environment of the south profoundly impacted his work.
In the third section, Corridas de Sud (bullfighting), the exhibition maps Picasso’s fascination with the corrida from a very young age, a persistent subject throughout his long life as an artist.
The exhibition concludes with Surrealism and Beyond, when Picasso’s painting turned to the unconscious and the impulsive, filtered through his rich synthesis of the light and color of the south.
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