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Exploring a Milestone Year in the Life of Pablo Picasso from a Feminist Perspective

Exploring a Milestone Year in the Life of Pablo Picasso from a Feminist Perspective

Numerous exhibits honoring the Spanish artist are scheduled to open in 2023, although not all of them are celebratory. We may expect the launch of at least forty exhibitions honoring the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso around Europe and America as the 50th anniversary of his death approaches next year. The Spanish and French governments are the main sponsors of these shows, which are grouped together under the heading “Celebration Picasso 1973–2023.”

A few of the noteworthy exhibitions on the schedule are “Picasso 1969–72: The End of the Beginning” at the Picasso Museum in Antibes (April 8–June 25), “Cubism and the Ophthalmological Tradition” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (October 20–January 22), “Young Picasso in Paris” at the Guggenheim in New York (May 12–August 7), and “Picasso vs. Velázquez” at the Casa de Velázquez in Madrid (September–November).

Picasso’s impact on 20th- and 21st-century art will be explored in all of these shows, which will also look at his conversations with both well-known and up-and-coming artists. It is also stressed by the organizers that contemporary readings of his work will be showcased, including “the reception of his work through the lens of feminism.”

Following feminist reevaluations of Picasso’s work in the light of the #MeToo movement, Picasso’s connections with the women in his life have come under fire. Picasso’s 1932 painting “The Dreamer” was tagged with a label by artist Michelle Hartney in November 2018, criticizing the artist for his “misogyny.” Additionally, Hartney brought up Picasso’s relationship with Marie-Thérèse Walter, his model, while the latter was just 17 years old.

This subject will be the focal point of an exhibition created by Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby and curators Lisa Small and Catherine Morris at the Brooklyn Museum, which runs from June 2 to September 24. The endeavor will “engage with some of the pressing questions raised by increasingly diverse museum audiences about interconnected issues of misogyny, masculinity, creativity, and ‘genius,’ particularly around a complex, mythologized figure like Picasso.”

Stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby has previously said that she is strongly against Picasso. She also talked about the painter’s connection with Walter in her 2018 Netflix series “Nanette,” as well as the problem of isolating the artist from their creations. She made the following argument: “Life and art are not the same thing; they are not the imperfections of flawed individuals. It’s a tactic used by wealthy men to increase their notoriety at the expense of weaker, frequently young women.” It’s reasonable to assume that the Brooklyn Museum’s display will be especially fascinating.

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