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.
With my students in Spain
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.
Guernica was painted by Picasso in 1937 to show his anger about the bombing of the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
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.
Picasso with his sister Lola
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.
Picasso in 1908
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.
Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein in the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City.
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.
Sculpture by Picasso in Chicago. Photo was taken by J. Cocker.
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.
Picasso self-portrait done in 1907.
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.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso – Museum of Modern Art, New York. Can you see the African masks on the two women on the right? Picasso painted this in 1907.
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.
A Personal Dali
The Dakota Boat