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Kunst Haus Wien Presents Picasso - Myths, Fables and Models
Pablo Picasso, Woman at the MIrror, 15. 12. 1950, Feder, Sandpapier auf Zink, Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster. © Succession Picasso / VBK, Wien 2009.

VIENNA.- Kunst Haus Wien presents Picasso – Myths, Fables and Models, on view through July 5, 2009. With 120 graphic works by Pablo Picasso, taken from five creative periods spanning approximately a decade each, the exhibition leads us into Picasso’s universe of motifs and obsessions. We encounter fabulous creatures from Greek mythology, such as the Minotaur or the centaurs, as well as the bullfight theme and several of Picasso’s favourite models. The exhibition, conceived especially for Kunst Haus Wien, presents works selected from the extensive collections of the Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster and offers unique insights into Picasso’s methods.

The life themes and metamorphoses that fascinated Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) run like a bright thread through the fabric of the exhibition. Here we find the bullfight and the figure of the Minotaur, cubist structures as well as demonstratively classical representations. Various women with whom Picasso had major relationships served as models for graphic works that reveal his artistry as a portraitist as well as his superior mastery of various styles. In this exhibition, we most often see Marie-Thérèse Walter and Françoise Gilot. The works from various periods of Picasso’s life reflect the changing nature of his artist-model relationships, while his identification with the complex figure of the Minotaur, especially, touches on the essence of the artist’s self-image.

Besides painting and drawing, Picasso also used sculpture and ceramics as forms of expression, but it is probably his graphic oeuvre that most clearly demonstrates his method of working. The exhibition presents, in particular, lithographs and etchings in a thematic context within the continuum of Picasso’s creative periods. In addition to numerous other works from the collections of the Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, the Vollard Suite, created in the 1930s on commission for the art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard, forms one of the cores of the exhibition. In Picasso’s various print series it is particularly easy to follow the numerous steps of (often major) revision undertaken by the artist. As if it were being shown in time-lapse photography, a motif will pass through various styles of representation, which Picasso did not hesitate to employ in juxtaposition.

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