Genius, lover, icon, artist. Pablo Picasso remains one of the most celebrated artists of all time. This weekend the Winnipeg Art Gallery
unveils two exhibitions showcasing the art of Picasso. His best work from collections across the country is gathered for Picasso in Canada, along with Picasso: Man & Beast. The Vollard Suite of Prints, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, featuring the artist’s rarely displayed, masterpiece etchings and drypoints on loan from the national collection. With only a handful of the complete sets in existence today, The Vollard Suite is a national treasure and rarely exhibited due to its fragility and scale. Both shows run until August 13.
In celebration of Canada 150, Picasso in Canada brings together 35 works of art drawn from eight art museums across the country and private collections, from paintings and watercolours to drawings, engravings, and ceramic works. Among these pieces is Seated Woman, arguably the most renowned painting by Picasso in Canada. The focus exhibition spans five decades of Picasso’s artistic production, offering a range of well-known themes and images, including intimate portraits of five of Picasso’s lovers.
“Picasso is back at the WAG for the first time in decades and the community and tourists are in for a treat!” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO and curator of Picasso in Canada. “These two exhibitions of Picasso feature the artist at his best, representing the breadth and depth of his talent. This summer, WAG visitors will see why Picasso is considered one of the world’s greatest and most influential artists.”
Perhaps best known for his bold Cubist paintings, Picasso was also a master printmaker. The Vollard Suite is one of the finest examples of his graphic work, which features 100 etchings produced in the 1930s. Named after the legendary Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard, the suite explores both the civilizing nature of art and the provocative ‘beast within.’ Man & Beast is organized by the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and presented in Winnipeg through the NGC@WAG partnership. The exhibition is organized by Dr. Sonia Del Re, NGC Associate Curator of European Prints and Drawings.
"One of the National Gallery of Canada’s key mandates is to share the national collection with all Canadians. We are very happy to provide Manitoba art lovers with this rare opportunity to see the complete Vollard Suite of Prints by Pablo Picasso," said NGC Director and CEO Marc Mayer. "We are grateful to our colleagues at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for helping us accomplish our national outreach mission."
Alongside the Picasso shows is an exciting series of events, daily film screenings, family activities, talks, and tours, such as: special guided tours with curators Dr. Borys and Dr. Del Re on Saturday, May 13, free with Gallery admission; Mother’s Day with Picasso and brunch at TABLE restaurant and/or a Picasso-inspired art-making workshop and tea party for families; and FEAST: Picasso & Mediterranean Cuisine, a dinner-and-tour themed to Picasso. The Gallery Shop is stocked with a vibrant collection of Picasso merchandise.