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Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Deux femmes courant sur la plage (La Course) (Two Women Running on the Beach[The Race]), 1922. Gouache on plywood, 32.5 x 41.1 cm. Pablo Picasso gift-in-lieu, 1979, MP78. Musée National Picasso, Paris.© Succession Picasso, 2011. ©RMN / Jean-Gilles Berizzi.

TORONTO.- Marking the only Canadian stop on its world tour, the highly anticipated exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on May 1, 2012.

The Musée National Picasso, Paris has been temporarily closed this season for renovations, sending its treasures out on a rare world tour. “We at the AGO are proud to be the only Canadian institution to present this truly unparalleled exhibition,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO director and CEO. “Picasso’s artistry was constantly evolving, and this particular collection offers our members and visitors a rare opportunity to experience the entire trajectory of his artistic achievement.”

Exhibited chronologically and covering virtually every phase of the modern master’s unceasingly radical and diverse career, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris features 147 of the works he kept for himself and his family, dubbing the term “Picasso’s Picassos”:

• The Death of Casagemas (1901), one of the first works he created in Paris;

• a landmark African-inspired artwork that led to the advent of Cubism, including studies for the masterpiece The Young Ladies of Avignon (1907) and Three Figures Beneath a Tree (1907-08);

• a series of sculptures created during the Second World War, including Bull’s Head (1942) and two bronzes, Death’s Head (1943) and The Goat (1950);

• The Matador (1970), the famous self-portrait painted three years before his death.

“Picasso is a true artistic legend whose profound work revolutionized fine art, captivating audiences across borders and beyond time,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The McGuinty Government is proud to partner with the AGO to bring this exciting exhibit to Ontario for its only Canadian stop, ensuring Ontarians and visitors alike have an opportunity to explore and experience Picasso’s prolific work.”

Co-organized by the Musée National Picasso, Paris, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, the exhibition is curated by Anne Baldassari, chairman and chief curator of collections of the Musée National Picasso, Paris. Elizabeth Smith, the AGO’s executive director of curatorial affairs, will oversee the exhibition’s installation at the AGO.

An exhibition for all ages, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris features a special audio tour created just for children. Opening simultaneously with the exhibition, the new Family Creativity Lounge in the Margaret & Jim Fleck Gallery will provide visitors of all ages a space to stop, rest and have fun, engaging with art-making and ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. It will feature comfortable seating, books and a large table with drawing and other art-making activities.

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