Following the success of "Picasso: Mosqueteros" in the spring of 2009 -- an exhibition heralded by The New York Times as one of the best shows in the city since the turn of the century -- Picasso biographer John Richardson will again partner with the artist's grandson Bernard Ruiz-Picasso to curate "Picasso: The Mediterranean Years (1945-1962)" at Gagosian Gallery
Britannia Street in London.
In the post-war years, Picasso began to spend more and more time in the South of France, marking a return to the Mediterranean heritage that had nourished some of the most important stylistic changes in the past. A vibrant social scene including bullfighters and poets, an international cast of friends and admirers, the return of Cocteau as his poet laureate and a renewal of family life with the birth of Claude and Paloma (with Françoise Gilot) joining their siblings Paulo (his son with Olga Khokhlova) Maya (his daughter with Marie-Thérèse Walter) and the love of Jacqueline Roque and her daughter Cathy provided the Mediterranean setting and the work produced there with new life. Besides pitting himself against Delacroix, Manet and Velázquez and painting some of his most challenging works, in the 1950s Picasso revolutionized sculpture and ceramics and pushed boundaries in lithography, linocuts and other graphic techniques. At Vallauris, where he transformed a disused perfume factory into a series of studios, at La Californie, his great fin de siècle villa, and Vauvenargues, his magnificent château on the slopes of the Mont Sainte-Victoire, the work of the most widely-known artist in the world was reborn.
Including important portraits of Françoise , Claude, Paloma and his last great muse Jacqueline, linocuts, ceramics and several iconic sculptures (La guenon et son petit, 1951, Petite fille sautant à la corde, 1950, La femme enceinte I, 1950, and Sylvette, 1954), "Picasso: The Mediterranean Years" will be organized around generous loans from members of the Picasso family of works that have come to be known as Picasso's Picassos. The exhibition will be installed in galleries transformed by architect Annabelle Selldorf and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with new essays by John Richardson, Professor Elizabeth Cowling and Jean Cocteau biographer, Claude Arnaud.
With a focus on Picasso's most intimate works, "Picasso: The Mediterranean Years" will provide an important contrast to Tate Liverpool's exhibition "Picasso: Peace and Freedom." Between these two exhibitions, visitors to Great Britain in the summer of 2010 will have an extraordinary opportunity to explore the public and private faces of this peerlessly multi-dimensional artist in the 1950s.
In recent years, Gagosian Gallery has partnered with the most distinguished scholars in their field to present critically acclaimed exhibitions at the galleries in New York and London, including the International Association of Art Critics award-winning "Picasso: Mosqueteros" (New York, 2009); "Manzoni: A Retrospective" with Germano Celant (New York, 2009); "Isabel and Other Intimate Strangers: Portraits by Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon" with Veronique Wiesinger (New York, 2008); "Francis Bacon: Triptychs" (London, 2006); "Cast A Cold Eye: The Late Work of Andy Warhol" (New York, 2006); and "Willem de Kooning: A Centennial Exhibition" (New York, 2004).
Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain in 1881 and died in France in 1973. Recent exhibitions of his work include "Picasso: Challenging the Past," National Gallery, London (2009); "Picasso et les Maîtres," Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (2008/2009); "Picasso and American Art," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); "Picasso: Tradition and the Avant-Garde," Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2006).