We have a new Picasso exhibit opening tomorrow at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Before I start to give tours of the exhibit I need to learn more about the famous Spanish artist.
I have a little background knowledge about Picasso because I once chaperoned a high school art trip to Spain and saw Picasso’s famous work Guernica in the Renia Sofia in Madrid and visited the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
However my trip to Spain was ten years ago so I need a refresher. I’m using an acrostic poem to help me remember interesting things about Picasso. The information for this comes from a great children’s book I found called Pablo Picasso Breaking All the Rules.
P is for pencil. Pencil is the first word Picasso said. He could draw before he could talk. Picasso was born in Spain in 1881.
I is for in love. Picasso fell in love repeatedly. He had long-term relationships with many women including- Fernande, Eva, Olga, Marie-Therese, Dora, Francoise and Jacqueline and fathered four children Paulo, Maya, Claude and Paloma.
C is for Carles Casagemas. He and Picasso were roommates in Paris. They were so poor Picasso painted furniture and bookcases on the walls to make their apartment look less bare. Carles committed suicide in 1901. This made Picasso very depressed and is said to be the reason he went through a blue period when he painted sad and lonely people in blue colors.
A is for American woman. Gertrude Stein was an American poet living in Paris who became Picasso’s friend. He liked to hang out at her house. That is where he met another famous painter Henri Matisse. He and Picasso became life long friends.
S is for sculpture. Picasso was a painter and a potter but he was also a sculptor. His sculptures were often made of junk he found like parts of a baby carriage or old cake pans or milk pitchers or baskets.
S is for self-portrait. Picasso painted more than a dozen portraits of himself in his life time. If you look at all of them you can see not only how Picasso’s physical appearance changed but also how his style of painting changed.
A is for African art. Picasso was very interested in the African masks and sculptures he saw in museums in Paris. You can see this influence in his work in particular from 1906-1909.