Presented during an exclusive Canadian engagement from June to September, 2021, Picasso. Figures will feature paintings and drawings never before presented in Québec of one of the 20th century’s most important, prolific artists.
For several decades, but even more strongly in recent years, voices have been raised to question an art history built around the great male figures, sometimes openly misogynistic, that museums have helped to tell.
Picasso is certainly the most famous artist of the 20th century; he is praised for his art. However, his biographers also tell of his reprehensible behavior towards women. Should the artist's life be separated from his work? This is an ethical and philosophical question to which Picasso himself has provided some answers. In an era of cultural boycotts, we choose to recognize one of the greatest contributions to recent art history with this exhibition. However, it was important that the presentation of this exhibition be anchored in our reality and that it be able to nourish reflections related to current issues.
Bringing together a selection of masterpieces from the collection of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, Picasso. Figures is a thematic proposal that offers a journey through more than seventy-five years of artistic production, inhabited by the human body. A true favorite motif of Picasso's, this theme is one of the most fertile prisms for addressing the multiple metamorphoses at work in the artist's practice. Shaped by Picasso, the deconstructed, reconstructed and constantly transformed body is transformed into plastic figures in the trajectory of the man who is considered an extraordinary genius.
At the same time, we juxtapose Picasso's work with certain current social concerns. His insubordination to the dictates of aesthetic canons inspired us to reflect on body diversity. Accompanied by Mickaël Bergeron, journalist and author, Cassandra Cacheiro and Sara Hini, founders of The Womanhood Project, as well as Elizabeth Cordeau Rancourt, creator of cultural content, we invite you to relate Picasso's work to those of a few contemporary artists, mainly from Quebec, whose work explores this question.
Upon exiting the exhibition Picasso. Figures, you will enter the concurrent exhibition Opening A Dialogue About Body Liberation, a group exhibition designed as an invitation to see beyond physical ideals.