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Dialogue between two masters
From October 4, 2016 to February 5, 2017, the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti present the first exhibition dedicated to the artworks of two of the most important artists of the twentieth century: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966).
Thanks to an exceptional loan from the Fondation Giacometti, this new exhibition, which will occupy the ground floor and the first floor of the Hôtel Salé, reunites more than 200 artworks of these two masters from the rich collections of the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, as well as borrowed artworks from French and foreign collections.
An important work of research, brought together from the collection of archives at the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, has revealed new, significant documents, sketches, notebooks, and annotations. These documents clarify the unknown relationship between these two artists – a relationship both friendly and formal -, and the mutual interest that they shared during key moments of their careers, despite their twenty-year age difference.
Although each artist exhibits different personality traits, they are each characterized by a spirit of liberty and invention. Picasso and Giacometti share a fascination for the link between Eros and Thanatos, like the displacement of limits of representation. From their first encounter at the beginning of the 1930s to their intense dialogues after World War II, the two artists never ceased to exchange on their creations and their arguments over realism’s return. Like the exhibition reveals, the number of formal and thematic similarities draws their works closer to the surrealist period. From the end of the 1930s, the two transformed their practice and shared questions and theories of art and its relation to reality, which the painter-sculptor and the sculptor painter responded to in different formal solutions.
Organized in eight sections, the exhibition proposes a chronological and thematic programme which presents the different aspects of their artistic production of the following mediums: painting, sculpture, and drawing. After having evoked the development of the two artists and the artworks from their youth to their modernist creations, the exhibition shows the correspondences between their artworks, like the influence from non-Western art or the surrealist movement to the return of realism during the period after the war.
Next to the emblematic works of each artist like Paul en Arlequin (1924), Femme assise au fauteuil rouge (1932) and La Chèvre (1950) by Picasso or Femme qui marche (1932), Cube (1933-1934) and Homme qui marche (1960) by Giacometti, are presented the rare and fragile casts, certain newly discovered drawings, and a number of archives unveiled for the first time.
A catalogue richly illustrated published in co-edition with Flammarion will accompany the exhibition. It brings together new essays by art historians – the curators of the exhibition – as well as an anthology of historic texts dedicated to these two artists.