Spain, France Kick-off anniversary celebrations of Picasso
By CIARÁN GILES, Associated Press
MADRID (AP) – Against the backdrop of Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting ‘Guernica,’ the culture ministers of France and Spain gathered at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid on Monday to mark a year of commemorations marking the 50th the death of the Spanish artist who revolutionized the art world .
As part of “Picasso Celebration”, France and Spain are organizing more than 40 exhibitions, conferences and other events in museums in Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, Málaga and other cities in Europe and North America over the next 12 months.
Picasso was born in Málaga on October 25, 1881 and died in Mougins, France on April 8, 1973.
“Our goal is to revitalize Picasso’s artistic legacy and the relevance of his work,” said Spain’s Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta.
“If there is one artist who defines the 20th century, who presents it in all its cruelty, violence, passion, excesses and contradictions, it is Pablo Picasso.”
Although born in Spain. Picasso spent most of his adult life in France.
In a career spanning almost eight decades. He is said to have created tens of thousands of paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics, spanning an incredible range of styles and movements that have made him possibly the most influential and celebrated artist of the last 150 years.
Together with the artist Georges Braque, he founded the avant-garde Cubist movement that radically changed European painting and sculpture.
“The rich, imaginative and often radical work of Picasso continues to inspire real fascination around the world,” said French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak.
Picasso’s reputation for abusing many women in his life will not be ignored during the anniversary and will be the subject of more than one conference and exhibition throughout the year.
“We want to present Picasso as he was,” said Iceta. “Celebrate his work, of course, but don’t hide some of the aspects of his life that might be controversial from today’s perspective.”
Abdul Malak said there was no denying that there was a lot of debate about how Picasso should be perceived, particularly in relation to his relationships with women and his sometimes violent nature, but she said these issues needed to be discussed, not hushed up .
The anniversary opened in front of “Guernica” – by far the most famous painting by Picasso. It was commissioned by Spain’s republican government to represent the country at a World’s Fair in Paris in 1937, when Spain was in the clutches of a bloody civil war started by future dictator General Francisco Franco.
Made up of tormented and distorted figures – human and animal – the black and white canvas depicts the horrors of mechanized warfare.
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