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The Picasso Century - NGV

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by Ann about Town (subscribe)
Just a Sydney girl living in her lonely world. Took the midnight train going Victoria.
Published September 3rd 2022
Portrait of a woman (Portrait de femme)1938 by Pablo Picasso


It's hard not to be a fan of Picasso whose work spans such a wide range of styles and periods and whose greatest hits include Guernica, The Weeping Woman and Portrait of Dora Maar (1937).

It was fairly crowded for a Monday afternoon and my first thought was whether 1 hour was sufficient to really immerse myself in the exhibition given the exxy $30 price tag. The scenario wasn't ideal but with a shift starting at 5pm, what choice did I have?

The exhibition was divided into two parts, spanning the entirety of NGV's Ground Level (NGV, 2022). As I hot-footed it to the first section, I was stopped by security at the door and told to check-in my apparently oversized bag, costing me precious seconds.

My second attempt at entry was more successful and I was able to enjoy the first couple of rooms at a more reasonable pace. From the dimly lit exhibition emerges an intriguing portrait of a creative genius whose artworks greatly affected those of his peers and whose own life was impacted by his residency in Paris during both World Wars.



An intriguing portrait of the artist emerges from the 180 piece collection


Archival footage examines the impact of conflict and subsequent German occupation on the Spanish artist who was living on Rue des Grands Augustins at the time. Notably missing from the exhibition was Guernica, however, a photograph of the highly decorated work was shown in a floor to ceiling projection display with a subtle soundscape added - ŕ la The Van Gogh exhibition at THE LUME Melbourne.

In short, The Picasso Century Exhibit enables visitors to get up close and personal with the brushstrokes of a master painter, sculptor and ceramist as well as the works of over 50 of his contemporaries including Dalí, Matisse and Dora Maar - Picasso's mistress, muse and an artist in her own right.

My biggest takeaway was that if Picasso were alive today, his incredible wealth, glamorous connections - the likes of Gertrude Stein and Henri Rousseau - and a quirky penchant for "shooting" guests he found boring would earn him a regular spot in Melbourne's society pages.

For a sociable bird like me, that's enough to warrant coming down to the NGV to see what all the fuss is about.

Max Ernst's Chimera


When: Until 9 October
URL: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/the-picasso-century/

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When: 10 June - 9 Oct 2022
Where: NGV International 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Your Comment
It's a wonderful opportunity to see his works.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9742) 10 days ago
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