Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso


« Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. »

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga on 25 October 1881, the son of an art teacher. He grew up in Barcelona, showing artistic talent at an early age. In the early 1900s, he moved between France and Spain before finally settling in Paris in 1904. There he experimented with a number of styles and produced his own original ones, reflected in his ‘Blue’ and ‘Rose’ periods.

In 1907 Picasso painted the revolutionary work ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ that introduced Cubism. Picasso’s next major innovation, in 1912, was ‘Collage’, adding pieces of cloth, newspaper or advertising to his paintings. Picasso now moved from style to style, experimenting with painting and sculpture and becoming involved with the Surrealist movement.

In 1937, he produced ‘Guernica’, a painting inspired by the destruction of the town in northern Spain by German bombers during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso supported the Republican government fighting General Francisco Franco, and never returned to Spain after Franco’s victory.

Unlike many artists, Picasso remained in Paris during the German occupation. From 1946 to his death he lived mainly in the south of France. He continued to produce a huge variety of work including paintings, sculptures, etchings and ceramics.

Picasso was involved with a number of women during his life who were often artistic muses as well as lovers. He had four children. On 8 April 1973, he died of a heart attack at his home near Cannes.
Three museums are dedicated to the artist’s work in Paris, Barcelona and Málaga.

Pablo Picasso
Photo Herbert List / Magnum

Calder – Picasso > 19 February – 23 August 2019


Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso – two of the most seminal figures of twentieth-century art – innovated entirely new ways to perceive grand themes. While the resonances between them are filled with endless possibilities, a key connection can be found specifically in their exploration of the void, or the absence of space, which both artists defined from the figure through to abstraction. Calder and Picasso wanted to present or represent non-space, whether by giving definition to a subtraction of mass, as in Calder’s sculpture, or by expressing contortions of time, as in Picasso’s portraits. Calder externalized the void through curiosity and intellectual expansion, engaging unseen forces in ways that challenge dimensional limitations, or what he called -grandeur-immense-. Picasso personalized the exploration, focusing on the emotional inner self. He brought himself inside each character and collapsed the interpersonal space between author and subject.

The exhibition will comprise approximately 120 works that explore how these two artists, each in his own very different ways, engaged with the void and all that it implies about a world where mass is unsettled by the absence of mass and where, at the center of anything and everything, what we discover is a vacuum.

The “Calder-Picasso” exhibition is organized in partnership with the Calder Foundation, New York, and the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA). It is a coproduction with the Museo Picasso Málaga where it will be held from September 24, 2019, to February 2, 2020.

More informations

Picasso. Blue and Rose > 3 February – 26 May 2019

Picasso Exposition
Pablo Picasso, Acrobate et jeune arlequin, 1905, Gouache on cardboard, 105 x 76 cm, Private collection, © Succession Picasso / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich


In terms of organizational effort and cost, this is the highest-caliber exhibition project in the history of the Fondation Beyeler. Years of preparation have been devoted to the presentation, which is certain to be one of Europe’s cultural highlights in 2019. The works on display are all major attractions in the museums from which they have been assembled. The exhibition is being staged in cooperation with the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Musée d’Orsay, where it will be shown in a modified form before traveling to Basel. The exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler is curated by Dr. Raphaël Bouvier, Curator at the Foundation.

More informations

Picasso-Rutault. Grand Ecart > 20th november 2018 – 20th march 2019

Claude Rutault offre un dialogue avec les œuvres de la collection du musée : peintures, arts graphiques, sculptures seront présentées. Il s’agit de proposer un « grand écart » entre une vision traditionnelle de la peinture, celle d’une toile achevée, signée et datée, et le processus créatif de Claude Rutault qui établit un descriptif de l’œuvre, amenée à se renouveler.
Les deux œuvres présentent deux moments de la peinture, la position de deux artistes qui semblent irréconciliables et qui pourtant figurent ici côte à côte. L’exposition trouve un écho au sein de « Picasso. Chefs-d’œuvre ! », avec une œuvre de Claude Rutault dans le Salon Jupiter.

More informations

Picasso. Chefs-d’œuvre ! > 4th september – 13th january 2018

Picasso Exposition

What is the meaning of masterpiece for Pablo Picasso? The exhibition “Picasso: Masterpieces! answers this question by bringing together some of his greatest works, some of which will be shown in Paris for the first time. Thanks to exceptional loans, masterpieces from all over the world will be displayed alongside those from the Musée National Picasso-Paris.

The assembled collection offers a new look at Picasso’s creativity with special attention given to his critical reception. It explores the exhibitions, articles and publications that accompanied each artwork and helped forge their reputation as masterpieces over the years. The Musée National Picasso-Paris archives play an essential part in telling this story.

More informations

Picasso. Blue and Rose > 18th September 2018 – 6th January 2019

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso, Acrobate à la boule© Image The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow © Succession Picasso 2018

The Musée d’Orsay and the Musée national Picasso-Paris are organising an exceptional event dedicated to Pablo Picasso’s blue and rose periods. This exhibition is the first large-scale collaboration between our two museums. It features masterpieces, some of which, such as La Vie (1903, Cleveland Museum of Art), are being presented for the first time in France, and proposes a new interpretation on the years 1900-1906, a critical period in the artist’s career which to date has not been covered in its entirety by a French museum.

The presentation of this exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay demonstrates the desire to include the young Picasso in his time and reconsider his work under the prism of his belonging to the nineteenth century.

The exhibition will bring together a large number of paintings and drawings with the aim of presenting a comprehensive overview of the artist’s sculptures and engravings between 1900 and 1906.

More informations