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"MemyselfandI: Photo portraits of Picasso" opens at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne
An exhibition piece from 1950 entitled 'Woman with Stroller' by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso on display in the Museum Ludwig in Cologne,Germany, 22 September 2011. The exhibition 'MemyselfandI. Photo Portraits of Picasso' shows 200 exposures, which show Picasso as the master of self-fashioning and can be visited from 24 September 2011. EPA/ROLFVENNENBERND.
COLOGNE.- Pablo Picasso was not only a great artist but also a master of self-dramatization. His face is at least as well known as his outstanding oeuvre. All of the leading 20th-century portraitists photographed Picasso - and some of these portraits went on to become icons.

In the exhibition "MemyselfandI. Photo Portraits of Picasso" Museum Ludwig is showing some 250 photographs by such artists as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller and Man Ray. This is the first time the question of the conflict between Picasso's desire to control how he was portrayed and the creative demands of his portraitists has been addressed in an exhibition. International loans and some 40 pivotal works from Museum Ludwig's own collection allow for a comprehensive and compelling exploration of this theme.

Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, when Pablo Picasso was leading a Bohemian lifestyle in Montparnasse, and continuing on to his latter years in the South of France, this large-scale survey traces the various stages in the artist's career. Classic portraits and staged studio scenes are juxtaposed with snapshots and a few very private moments. Picasso recognized early on the possibilities offered by the medium of photography, using it in his own work but above all skillfully exploiting it as a tool for bolstering the cult of his own personality. With careful calculation - so it seems - these photographic portraits convey the image of the artist as impassioned, strong-willed, virile creator. Nevertheless, Picasso's own strategic staging does not always play the dominant role in these works. The exhibition cleverly reveals the very individual stamp of the portrait artists themselves, while making palpable the tense relationship between Picasso as client and the various photographers' own pursuit of creative autonomy and originality. In a remarkable number of cases, Picasso cultivated close relationships with his portraitists and permitted them a certain degree of intimacy. This closeness resulted in many images that capture the artist in unusual and moving scenes. Picasso's embracing of photography was therefore not merely a means of putting on a show, but also gave him a unique method for looking inward, for self-contemplation. The artist always found photography, in its function as a medium for memory and retrospection, more congenail for purposes of self-study than a glance in the mirror.

The seven female photographers featured in the exhibition also bring up the question of the feminine view of Picasso: What happens when a woman makes a picture of Picasso? Is there a difference between the feminine and masculine photographic viewpoint? The portraits created by the female artists tellingly attest to their disparate relationships with the sitter. Lee Miller, for example, photographed the artist over a period of 36 years, for the first time in the summer of 1937, when the two met. Mme d'Ora, nearly the same age as Picasso, succeeded at taking an unusually relaxed picture of the artist, while Dora Maar by contrast - Picasso's longstanding lover - scratched the negative of an early image to create for him a kind of dark halo. An image of Dora Maar's head can be seen here time and again in diverse pictures: the sculpture Picasso made of her in 1941 accompanied him for many years. Today this plaster head is in the collection of Museum Ludwig.

It is in an effort to make these correspondences and manifold relationships evident for viewers that Museum Ludwig is presenting its important Picasso collection in a new constellation to coincide with the show "MemyselfandI. Photo Portraits of Picasso." This special situation allows for an extraordinary encounter with the work of Picasso in original and as photographic reproduction.

Museum Ludwig offers here an extensive overview of the artist's career that elicits new and unusual insights, making the dazzling personality of Pablo Picasso tangible in all its many facets.

Artists: Rogi André, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Bill Brandt, Brassaï, René Burri, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chim, Lucien Clergue, Jean Cocteau, Denise Colomb, Robert Doisneau, David Douglas Duncan, Yousuf Karsh, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Herbert List, Dora Maar, Mme d'Ora, Willy Maywald, Lee Miller, Gjon Mili, Inge Morath, Arnold Newman, Roberto Otero, Irving Penn, Julia Pirotte, Edward Quinn, Man Ray, Willy Rizzo, Gotthard Schuh, Michel Sima, Horst Tappe, André Villers





Last Week News

September 22, 2011

Tate Britain unveils John Martin's lost masterpiece for the first time in almost a century

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Marlborough Gallery presents an exhibition by Red Grooms on the theme of New York

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Sotheby's to sell the BAT Artventure Collection formerly known as the Peter Stuyvesant Collection Part III

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Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' fine jewelry and timepieces auction realizes over $3 million

Sotheby's sale of the philatelic collection of Lord Steinberg brings a total of $4.2 million

Rare blue diamond by Bulgari sells for 1.9 million pounds in Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale

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Frieze Art Fair 2011 announces works to be installed at Sculpture Park

September 21, 2011

Art Moscow welcomes over forty national and international Contemporary art galleries

Exhibition of portraits by Andy Warhol of the late Elizabeth Taylor at Gagosian Gallery

Works by Roy Lichtenstein from his celebrated Entablatures series at Paula Cooper Gallery

Museo de Arte de Ponce announces exhibition of masterpieces from the Prado Museum

Christie's announces fashion and accessories sale from the Elizabeth Taylor Collection

Cherry and Martin restages landmark 1970 exhibition "Photography into Sculpture"

National Portrait Gallery announces Lucian Freud portraits exhibition in February 2012

Medieval works of art from the Marquet de Vasselot Collection to be sold at Christie's in Paris

China Institute Gallery presents Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art, 1974-1985

Sotheby's to sell an important private collection of works by Alexander Benois this November

Circus poster exhibition sensationally brings to life America's first colossal entertainment industry

World Monuments Fund announces two major grants for sites in Tanzania and Cambodia

Nelson-Atkins Museum Major Lender in Pan-Asian Buddhist Art Exhibition at Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Exhibition about the fragility and awe-inspiring nature of our oceans at the Pelham Art Center

Mussolini's duds sell for $5.5K at Texas auction

Contemporary art from the Estate of Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury, Oct. 26, at Heritage Auctions

InterAsia Auctions, the market leader in Asian philately, to hold stamps sale

Polish Jewish museum to open in April 2013

Exhibit explores American Folk Art of quilts

September 20, 2011

Pompidou exhibition throws new light on the work of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch

Warhol, Katz, Henry paintings among $2.8 Million Irish bad bank auction at Christie's

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston acquires Gustave Caillebotte's "Man At His Bath"

Sotheby's New York announces sale of Nicolai Fechin paintings from National Cowboy Museum

DANDAN: Solo exhibition by Japanese artist Tabaimo on view at James Cohan Gallery

Exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Jenny Saville at Gagosian Gallery

Christo and Jeanne-Claude 40 Years, 12 Exhibitions opens at Annely Juda Fine Art

Swann Galleries' announces autumn auction of African-American fine art in October

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First solo exhibition with Los Angeles painter Pamela Jorden opens at Romer Young Gallery

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Bonhams expands Chinese and Japanese art departments in Europe, Asia and Australia

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September 19, 2011

Exhibition by artist Tomas Saraceno opens at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin

Gothic tapestries from Spain, recently restored, on view together for first time at the National Gallery of Art

MoMA presents first major retrospective devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning

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September 18, 2011

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September 17, 2011

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