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Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris Opens in Richmond, Virginia
Pablo Picasso's 1950 bronze sculpture "The Goat," which is part of a traveling exhibition of essential works by Picasso at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va. "Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris" includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and etchings by the artist and serves as a retrospective covering each notable artistic period of his eight-decade career. AP Photo/Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
RICHMOND, VA.- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents a landmark exhibition in honor of its 75th anniversary, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. VMFA is the only East Coast venue for the exhibition’s seven-city international tour. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 19 through May 15, 2011, is co-organized by the Musée National Picasso, Paris and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, the largest and most significant repository of the artist’s work in the world, this exhibition represents works produced during every major artistic period of Pablo Picasso’s eight-decade career. It includes 176 works from Picasso’s personal collection – art that he kept for himself with the purpose of shaping his own legacy. Altria is the presenting sponsor for the exhibition.

“By bringing this major international exhibition to the Commonwealth,” Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell said, “the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is celebrating its 75th anniversary year in a significant way by presenting a remarkable gift to all Virginians and Americans. I encourage all our citizens and those outside the Commonwealth to come visit Virginia's museum and enjoy the Picasso exhibition. Virginia is a wonderful destination for so many experiences, including world-class art.”

VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said, “This exhibition is without a doubt a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the American public. An exhibition this monumental is extremely rare, especially one that spans the entire career of a figure who many consider the most influential, innovative and creative artist of the 20th century.”

In addition to showcasing some of Picasso’s most outstanding works, the exhibition tells a compelling story about the development of the artist’s career, his artistic inspirations, and his profound impact on modern art.

The unique opportunity to exhibit Picasso’s work at this time is possible because the Musée Picasso National in Paris is closed for renovations until 2012, allowing for a global tour of this full-scale survey to travel for the first and possibly only time.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with VMFA to bring such a significant art exhibition to our Richmond headquarters community,” said Marty Barrington, vice chairman of Altria and VMFA trustee. “With the Picasso exhibition, VMFA continues to realize its vision of world-class quality that will make Richmond a leading destination for fine art in the United States. Altria is pleased to support this exhibition, which will enrich our Richmond community in many ways.”

Renowned worldwide, the collection from the Musée National Picasso, Paris is unique because it represents the pieces that Picasso set aside for his own personal collection. Acting almost as a curator for his art, Picasso kept some of his most iconic pieces from each phase of his work, including the Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism, the return to Classicism, Surrealism, and his later work.

The exhibition will showcase moments and art that defined Picasso’s early career, including a deathbed portrait of the artist’s close friend Carlos Casagemas. His friend’s suicide partially influenced Picasso’s famed Blue Period, defined by somber paintings in shades of blue and green. Celéstina (The Woman with One-Eye) (1904), a masterpiece from the Blue Period, will be featured in the exhibition.

Friends, lovers, and artists who influenced Picasso play a seminal role in the exhibition. Portraits of his mistresses, such as Reading (1932) and Portrait of Dora Maar (1937), feature his muses in various emotional states ranging from regal composure to inconsolable despair. Works ranging from studies for his early groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), to some of the last works of his career show his connection to, and often competition with, other notable artists from his past and present such as Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, and Diego Velázquez. The exhibition includes examples of almost every medium in which Picasso worked –oil on canvas and panel, cast bronze, carved wood, assemblages of found materials, watercolors, drawings in pastel, charcoal, pencil, and ink; various printmaking techniques, and illustrated books.

While Picasso contributed to and even inspired countless movements, he and Braques co-invented an entirely new movement: Cubism. Focused on fragmentation, shifting planes, and skewed perspectives, Cubism revolved around the deconstruction and reconstruction of figures and objects on two-dimensional surfaces or in space with new materials. The exhibition includes classical examples of Analytic Cubism, such as the famous Parisian landmark Le Sacré-Coeur (1909-1910), and several paintings of figures with musical instruments where the subjects are torqued and faceted almost beyond recognition.

Born in the southern Spanish city of Málaga in 1881, Pablo Picasso’s towering reputation spanned a long and productive career that began at a young age. After studying art in Barcelona—where he entered the School of Fine Arts at age thirteen—and Madrid, he first traveled to Paris in 1900, the city whose art and culture would greatly influence him and where he would first make his mark. By the time of his death in 1973 he had created an astounding 50,000 works in many different artistic mediums.

Picasso frequently shifted from one stylistic mode to another, moving through various forms of expression to match his protean vision and resist being constrained by any single style or movement. His exploration of different theories and techniques led to art that was inspired by Classicism, Surrealism, and African art, among other sources.

Involved in almost every artistic movement during his lifetime, he is recognized as one of the most powerful and creative forces of the 20th century. Never one to rest on his laurels, Picasso was constantly reinventing himself and searching for new sources of inspiration, both from the modern age and from the work of past artists and artworks. This exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand the depth and breadth of Picasso’s genius. His revolutionary artistic achievements brought him universal praise and fame, and his art continues to inspire viewers as well as artists in a range of creative fields.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso | Alex Nyerge |


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February 20, 2011

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Major Exhibition of Winnipeg Artist Wanda Koop Opens at the National Gallery of Canada

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11 Architects Selected to Receive the 2011 American Institute of Architects' Young Architects Award

February 19, 2011

New York Graffiti Art of the 1980s from The Scharpff Collection at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Irish Artist Jim Fitzpatrick Bids to Copyright Revolutionary Che Guevara Image

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Exhibition of Recent Paintings by New Jersey-Born Pat Steir at Cheim & Read in New York

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Sylvester Stallone Opens Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska

Quinn's Auction Galleries to Present International Array of Fine and Decorative Art on March 5

Pobeda Gallery Presents "Face to Face" the First Exhibition of Georgian Photography in Moscow

First Major Exhibition in More Than Thirty Years to Examine Tipis of Plains Peoples

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Rare Anti-Communist Comics at Heritage Auctions

Sotheby's February Series Realises $394 Million: The Highest Total Achieved in London

The Other King's Speech Goes Under the Hammer at Bonhams

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February 18, 2011

The Belvedere in Vienna Dedicates Comprehensive Show to Austrian Artist Egon Schiele

The Museum of Modern Art Announces a Retrospective of Cindy Sherman for 2012

A Collector's Eye: Cranach to Pissarro Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Sylvester Stallone Opens Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presents "Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels"

Metro Pictures Presents Croatian Artist David Maljkovic's Latest Works "Recalling Frames"

Paris Photo Announces New Venue at the Grand Palais and Julien Frydman as Its New Director

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Pobeda Gallery Presents "Face to Face" the First Exhibition of Georgian Photography in Moscow

First Major Exhibition in More Than Thirty Years to Examine Tipis of Plains Peoples

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James Cohan Gallery Presents Second Solo Exhibition by Japanese-Born Artist Hiraki Sawa

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February 17, 2011

Exhibition of Pablo Picasso's Artistic Development in Paris on View at Van Gogh Museum

The Courtauld Gallery Presents Life, Legend, Landscape: Victorian Drawings and Watercolours

Egyptian Antiquities Authorities Say They Found Fourth Stolen Pharaonic Treasure

London's Natural History Museum: Earliest Human Skull-Cups Made in the UK

Akbar Padamsee Masterpiece From 1960 to Lead Sotheby's Indian Art Sale in New York

Exhibition of New Work by Michael Riedel on View at David Zwirner Gallery

Street Artist Banksy's Graffiti Lands in Los Angeles Ahead of Oscars Ceremony

Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event at Heritage Auctions

Scottish Splendour and Belgravia Elegance Meet at Christie's in March Sale

James Cohan Gallery Presents Second Solo Exhibition by Japanese-Born Artist Hiraki Sawa

Aspen Art Museum Presents Artist Mark Manders's Museum-Wide Parallel Occurrences

Alan Cristea Gallery Presents German Artist Christiane Baumgartner: Reel Time

Oscar-Nominated Costumes on View at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

B.B. King Museum Announces New Executive Director

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Saint Louis Art Museum Files Federal Lawsuit to Keep a 3,200-Year-Old Mummy Mask

Amon Carter Museum's Director of Education Named National Educator of the Year

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Private Collectors Make Fantastic Donations of Photographic Art to Moderna Museet

20th Century Decorative Art & Design Works Dazzle Christie's New York Auction

Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation Appoints Curator for its Forthcoming Edition

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

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National Portrait Gallery Presents the First Major Exhibition in Over 30 Years Devoted to E.O. Hoppé

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February 16, 2011

ARCOmadrid Opens 30th Edition with Works of Art Between the Ordinary and Extraordinary

Tate Offers a Fresh Assessment of the History of Watercolour Painting in Britain

Sotheby's February 2011 Contemporary Art Evening Auction Realises $71,051,252

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February 15, 2011

Madrid's Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Presents an Exhibition Devoted to Jean-Léon Gérome

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Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ty Cobb and Dozens of other Rare Autographed Baseballs at Heritage Auctions

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York

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