Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition comes to The Frick Collection, New York on October 4, 2011, through January 8, 2012
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. February 5, 2012, through May 6, 2012
Self-Portrait (Paris, end 1901 / beginning 1902), crayon with color washes on paper, 12 x 9 3/8 inches (30.4 x 23.8 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.164, © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is generally acknowledged to be the greatest draftsman of the twentieth century. The Frick Collection, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., have co-organized an exhibition for 2011-12 that will look at the dazzling development of Picasso's drawings, from the precocious academic exercises of his youth in the 1890s to the virtuoso classical works of the early 1920s. Through a selection of more than fifty works at each venue, the presentation will examine the artist's stylistic experiments and techniques in this roughly thirty-year period, which begins and ends in a classical mode and encompasses the radical innovations of Cubism and collage. The show will demonstrate how drawing served as an essential means of invention and discovery in Picasso's multifaceted art, while its centrality in his vast oeuvre connects him deeply with the grand tradition of European masters. Indeed, the exhibition will bring to the fore his complex engagement with artists of the near and distant past and will explore the diverse ways he competed with the virtuoso techniques of his predecessors and perpetuated them in revitalized form. Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition will feature loans from important public and private collections in Europe and the United States and will be accompanied by a full-length catalogue of the same name. It is being organized by Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator, The Frick Collection, and Marilyn McCully, Picasso expert, in conjunction with Andrew Robison, Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery. Major funding for the exhibition in New York is provided by Bill and Donna Acquavella, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and Melvin R. Seiden. Additional support is provided by Walter and Vera Eberstadt, Agnes Gund, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, and the Thaw Charitable Trust. The project is also supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The accompanying catalogue has been underwritten by the Center for Spain in America and The Christian Humann Foundation.
Comments Galassi, "Over the past decade several exhibitions organized both in the United States and abroad have explored Picasso's art in relation to Western and non-Western traditions. The show focuses on this fundamental aspect of his work, specifically in relation to his drawings, where his interaction with artists of the past often first emerged. Our project aims to take a fresh look at Picasso's drawing practice from his early training to maturity."