Laurence Madeline

Picasso builds his image: 1932

Friday April 28 – Session 05 @ COAC

In June 1932, a retrospective of Picasso’s work was presented at the Georges Petit gallery, in Paris. It was the first real encounter between Picasso and the French press and public. Numerous articles were published about it, and the interview of the artist by Tériade hit the headlines of the newspaper L’Intransigeant.

In his introduction, Tériade wrote, “Here, we find the expression of some of his ideas, which are not only those of a painter, but also those of a man”, thus highlighting the dual artistic and human dimension of the way in which Picasso would continue to be seen.

The existence of this article underscores Picasso’s whole-hearted involvement in the promotion of this exhibition: he greeted journalists while the exhibition was being installed and posed for photographers, but had disappeared by the time of the opening. By his absence, he aroused curiosity and fuelled the fantasies of his fans and detractors, showing his rejection of conventions, his contempt for tributes, his freedom and his affinity with popular pastimes. He gave short shrift to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle journalist who asked him about the event that marked the opening of his major retrospective: “Me, I go to the movies”.

Based on a press review of the 1932 exhibition, the aim of this presentation is to show how the Picassian myth was created. Within that press review, the artist is seen in a way that often goes beyond that of the aesthetic qualities of his work. Indeed, references to his personality are plentiful; he was variously described as cosmopolitan and prolific; as an acrobat, a chameleon, a plagiarist, a phoney and a conjurer; as powerful and intelligent; as a magician and a born painter; as universal and irreducible. He was also said to be a man of “profound humanity”, a characteristic that would form the cornerstone of his popularity.

Laurence Madeline

Chief curator

Laurence Madeline is the chief curator of heritage. She is currently preparing the exhibition “Picasso. 1932” (Musée Picasso-Paris, autumn 2017) and was the curator of the exhibitions “Picasso devant la télé” (2013-2014), “Picasso à l’œuvre. Dans l’objectif de David Douglas Duncan” (2012), “Picasso / Manet: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” (2008), “Picasso and Africa” (2005-2006), “Picasso Ingres” (2004) and “On est ce que l’on garde. Les archives de Picasso” (2003). She is the author of Picasso Van Gogh (La Martinière, 2006) and has published Gertrude Stein’s and Picasso’s correspondence (Gallimard, 2005), Dalí’s letters to Picasso (Le Promeneur, 2005) and Picasso devant la télé (Les Presses du réel, 2013).

Organized by:

Museu Picasso Barcelona
Montcada 15. 08003 Barcelona

Fundació Palau. Centre d’Art
Carrer la Riera 54. 08393
Caldes d’Estrac Barcelona

The Museu Picasso Barcelona would like to recognise the extraordinary commitment and support of:

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