Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy is being organised in collaboration with the Musée National-Picasso, Paris and will take visitors on a month-by-month journey through 1932, which the curators say was ‘a time so pivotal in Picasso’s life and work that it has been called his year of wonders’.
More than 100 outstanding paintings, sculptures and works on paper will be displayed including Jeune fille devant un miroir (Girl before a Mirror), a signature painting that rarely leaves The Museum of Modern Art, and Le rêve (The Dream), a virtuoso masterpiece depicting the artist’s muse in ecstatic reverie, which has never been exhibited in the UK before.
The year 1932 was an extraordinary year for Picasso, even by his own standards with his paintings reached a new level of sensuality and he cemented his celebrity status as the most influential artist of the early 20th century. Over the course of this year he created some of his best loved works, from confident colour-saturated portraits to surrealist drawings, developing ideas from the voluptuous sculptures he had made at his newly acquired country estate.
In his personal life, throughout 1932, Picasso kept a delicate balance between tending to his wife Olga Khokhlova and their 11-year-old son Paulo, and his passionate love affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, 28 years his junior. The exhibition will bring these complex artistic and personal dynamics to life with an unprecedented range of loans from collections around the world, including many record-breaking works held in private hands.
The year ended traumatically when Marie-Thérèse fell seriously ill after swimming in the river Marne, losing most of her iconic blonde hair. In his final works of the year, Picasso transformed the event into scenes of rescue and rape, a dramatic finale to a year of love, fame and tragedy that pushed Picasso to the height of his creative powers.
“Picasso famously described painting as ‘just another form of keeping a diary’,” said Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern and co-curator of the exhibition. “This exhibition will invite you to get close to the artist, to his ways of thinking and working, and to the tribulations of his personal life at a pivotal moment in his career. By showing stellar loans from public and private collections in the order in which they were made, this exhibition will allow a new generation to discover Picasso’s explosive energy, while surprising those who think they already know the artist.”
Borchardt-Hume will be joined in curating the exhibition by Nancy Ireson, Curator, International Art, and Juliette Rizzi and Laura Bruni as Assistant Curators. The exhibition at the Musée National-Picasso will be curated by Laurence Madeline from 10 October 2017 to 11 February 2018.
The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy will be open from 8 March to 9 September 2018 at Tate Modern in the Eyal Ofer Galleries.