Musée Fabre de Montpellier
Méditerranée Métropole, France
15 June to 23 September 2018

“I’m always on the move. You catch sight of me, but I’ve already changed, I’m already elsewhere. I never stay in one place and that’s why I don’t have a style.” Pablo Picasso

From 15 June to 23 September 2018, the Musée Fabre de Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole will present the Picasso – Donner à voir exhibition, in association with “Picasso-Méditerranée”, an international cultural event launched by the Musée National Picasso-Paris. The Mediterrean city of Montpellier, situated midway between Catalonia and Provence, will be taking part in the event. This major exhibition at Musée Fabre will cover Picasso’s entire career: an overview of the creation of a multifaceted oeuvre, with works selected and presented from a very specific perspective. The focus is on the transitional periods of his career, his experimentation and his departures from his previous work, reflecting the continual movement inherent in his metamorphoses. The works will be presented in an open layout, encouraging the visitor to make comparisons between the forms used during different periods.

Fourteen key dates
While the idea of change governs all of Picasso’s artistic creation, we can nevertheless identify certain paroxysmal moments. The exhibition’s perspective is rooted in fourteen key dates that highlight formal and technical departures from the artist’s previous work; yet it is also deliberately distanced from the artist’s biography. The exhibition covers 900 m2 and is designed with no physical separation between the different sections, meaning the works can be compared, contrasted and viewed from different perspectives. Each section brings together a variety of different works completed over a short time period: one or several seasons, a single year. The selected works thus reflect the artist’s ability to explore several formal hypotheses at the same time, sometimes even within the same work.

An “autophagic” artist
The exhibition’s open layout calls into question the notion of “evolution” within Picasso’s work and deconstructs any overly linear reading of his oeuvre. None of these departures is ever definitive. The physical changes in Picasso’s work reflect a series of round trips within his own career path. While several recent exhibitions have helped highlight the external points of reference used or “cannibalised” by the artist (Picasso and the Masters, Picasso and Folk Art and Traditions), Picasso – Donner à voir demonstrates how Picasso drew inspiration from his own work.

Seventy-seven years of artistic creation and over 120 works from the biggest international collections
The exhibition explores the period from 1895 to 1972: seventy-seven years of artistic creation! In addition to masterpieces of painting, sculpture, etching and drawing, it includes records, sketchbooks and preparatory drawings that reveal these moments of intense experimentation and bring us closer to the creative process. Musée Fabre will display over 100 pieces within the exhibition, including a remarkable set of works loaned by the Musée National Picasso-Paris, representing “all the breakthroughs, all the key pieces that Picasso kept to himself in order that he could continue living with them and seeking out what it was that his painting or sculpture had achieved at a given point — something that he would perhaps only understand much later, in the light of other works or in a different era” (Pierre Daix). These are joined by works on loan from other prestigious museums in France and elsewhere, including Picasso Museum Barcelona; Musée Picasso, Antibes; Kunsthaus Zurich; Museum Berggruen, Berlin; Metropolitan Museum, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale de France; Médiathèque Emile Zola de Montpellier; plus many more private and international collections.

Pablo Picasso, Arlequin musicien, 1924, huile sur toile, 130 x 97.2 cm, Washington, National Gallery of Art Given in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber, by Rita Schreiber, 1989.31.2 © Succession Picasso 2018