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On the Anniversary of the Birth of Pablo Picasso, Museo Picasso Málaga Presents New Acquisitions
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Composición Juan-les-Pins, verano 1920. Óleo y collage sobre lienzo, 72,5 x 91, 5 cm. Colección particular. Cortesía de la Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte. Foto: © Marc Domage © Succession Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Málaga 2010.

MALAGA.- MPM’s permanent collection provides visitors with an overview of eight decades of Pablo Picasso’s work, conveying the painstaking creative capacity of an artist who is essential to understanding Western art history, and thereby embodying the desire to offer the city of Picasso’s birth some of the fruits of his talent.

The rooms in the Palacio de Buenavista have been organized in such a way as to examine by theme issues that are important aspects of Pablo Picasso’s artistic legacy, such as his relationship with Malaga, and the versatility of his creative talent; his sensitivity to inequality and to the distress of victims of social exclusion; his sense of origin and family and the importance of his close circle of friends and daily life in his paintings; his historical importance as the creator of Cubism and the inventor of images that synthesize various formal and conceptual angles; his way of looking at the classical themes of art history, such as portraits, still life, landscape and nudes; and his profound relationship to the Great Masters, compounding respect, inspiration and antagonism.

Other spaces deal with the artist’s studio - both the physical and the mental location - which is transformed into an exceptional backdrop that recounts the relationships between the painter and the model - curiosity, worship, desire, irony, violence or hatred, the reflection between the observer and the observed, and Picasso’s extraordinary ability to discover new procedures and invent innovative supports that were new in the history of the visual arts.

For the first time at MPM
Paintings, sculpture and pottery from different periods, and in different styles, compose an illustrative collection of art which, displayed alongside the MPM’s own collection, the portraits deposited three years go by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and other works from private collections, will enable visitors to discover the art of Pablo Picasso and acquaint themselves with its wide-ranging themes, its variety of techniques, and its evolution throughout the artist’s long and fertile career.

The addition of these artworks is a valuable contribution to Museo Picasso Málaga’s permanent collection. Therefore, to coincide with the anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s birth, the Museum is presenting a new layout, which includes a large selection of the 43 artworks that are on a 15-year loan from the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA).

As from today, visitors will be able to view oil paintings and sculptures that are being shown for the very first time here at the Museum. They include Woman outside a Dance Hall (1899), a work that shows Picasso’s interest in marginal characters before he left Spain; a Cubist Composition, painted in the summer of 1920; or Reclining Nude, which he painted in Mougins in 1960, and which explores a whole range of body positions in a single image. Among the nineteen works that are on display for the first time at MPM, is a delicate work from his Neoclassical period, Man Watching his Sleeping Female Companion, which he made in pencil and oil in the summer of 1922; the sculpture-like painting, Head of a Woman, dated 1946, using an array of blues and greys; and Woman, a 1971 painting showing a woman with a bird, with which Picasso evoked memories of his youth.

Iconic works
Some of the 43 works on loan have already been shown at MPM, thanks to previous agreements with FABA. One of them is Girl with a Doll (1896-1897). This is the earliest painting in the group of artworks on loan, and it shows us the work of a young Picasso, who was barely 16 at the time. The latest work, Seated Figure, is dated 1971. An almost 90-year-old Picasso painted this canvas, with a creative skill that is heightened by overwhelmingly powerful and energetic brushstrokes.

Another highlight are the family portraits, amongst which are Olga Khokhlova with a Mantilla (1917), Portrait of a Woman with a Fur Collar (Olga), dating from 1922-1923, and Paulo on a Donkey (1923), a portrait of the eldest child of the painter and the dancer Olga Khokhlova. Other paintings that have previously been on view here at the museum are Female Acrobat, from 1930, Woman with a Green Collar (1938), and Susanna and the Elders (1955).

A number portraits of men, on various supports such as oil on canvas, bronze and tin, and a sculpture, Vase with Flowers and a Plate of Cakes, dated 1951, complete this group of works, which will be studied and duly documented in a publication that has been jointly produced by FABA and MPM, with texts by Marilyn McCully and Cécile Godefroy.

Since it was first created, FABA has managed holdings and loaned worldwide a considerable number of artworks by Pablo Picasso and contemporary artists, mainly for temporary exhibitions and in collaboration with leading modern and contemporary art institutions.

Coinciding with the presentation of Museo Picasso Malaga’s new donations and acquisitions, FABA has expressed its wish to continue its efforts to obtain new loans for MPM from new collectors and institutions over the next few years. The Foundation will also make specific loans to the Museum of works from the holdings it manages, as it has done for a number of years now.

Alongside the artworks belonging to Museo Picasso Malaga and FABA, other works on long term loan or deposit will also be on display at the Palacio de Buenavista. These include the two works that the Spanish Ministry of Culture purchased and deposited at MPM, thanks to a donation from Unicaja savings bank. These works are Portrait of Paul (1922) and The Wife of the Artist (1923), both of which have been on deposit at the museum since February 2007. The exhibition of the museum’s permanent collection also includes works from a number of private collectors who have expressed their wish to remain anonymous.

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