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Olga Picasso
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Olga Picasso

From 21 March to 3 September 2017

Olga Picasso

OlgaPicasso
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Picasso - Olga pensive - MP993 - 16-550492
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Olga pensive », 1923, Dessin au crayon noir, pastel, 104 x 71 cm, MP993, Musée national Picasso-Paris

About the exhibition

 

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Affiche Olga Picasso

Olga Khokhlova was born to a colonel in 1891, in Nijin, a Ukrainian town located within the Russian Empire. In 1912, she entered the prestigious and innovative Russian Ballet directed by Serge Diaghilev. It was in Rome, spring 1917, where she met Pablo Picasso while he was producing, at the invitation of Jean Cocteau, the decorations and costumes of the ballet; (music by Erik Satie, theme by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Léonide Massine). On July 12, 1918, the couple married in an Orthodox Church on rue Daru, with Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire as witnesses.

As the perfect model during Picasso’s classical period, Olga was first portrayed by thin, elegant lines marked by the influence of Ingres. Synonymous with a certain return to figuration, Olga is often represented as melancholic, sitting, reading or writing, no doubt an allusion to the correspondence she maintained with her family that lived during a tragic moment in history. In fact, at the same period, in contrast to the couple’s social ascent and the accruing artistic recognition of Picasso’s works, the Russian Empire, critically affected by World War I, suffered a huge economic and food crisis while losing more than two million soldiers on the war front. Olga’s family also suffered a tragedy, which was reflected in the letters she received: the family’s social stature was lost, her father disappeared, and finally, correspondence with her family was progressively interrupted. After the birth of their first child, Paul, on February 4, 1921, Olga became the inspiration for numerous maternity scenes, compositions bathed in innocent softness. The familial scenes and portraits of a young boy show a serene happiness that blossom in timeless forms. These forms correspond to Picasso’s new attention to antiquity and the renaissance discovered in Italy, which was reactivated by the family’s summer stay in Fontainebleau in 1921.

Olga’s figure transforms, however, after Picasso’s encounter with Marie-Thérèse Walter, a young, seventeen-year-old woman who would become his mistress. In 1929, in the painting Le Grand nu au fauteuil rouge, Olga is nothing but pain and sorrow. Her form is flaccid with violent expression and translates the nature of the couple’s profound crisis. The spouses finally separate for good in 1935, a year the artist temporarily stops creating paintings, but stay married until Olga’s death in 1955.

Scheduled for spring 2017 at the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the exposition revisits these shared years. It attempts to understand the execution of Picasso’s major artworks by recreating his artistic production filtered through a social and political history.

Through a rich selection of paintings, drawings, written and photographic archives, the exhibition will extend to two museum floors comprising around 760 m².

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Selected artworks

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Picasso - Olga pensive - MP993 - 16-550492
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Olga pensive », 1923, Dessin au crayon noir, pastel, 104 x 71 cm, MP993, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Portrait d’Olga dans un fauteuil - MP55 - 16-550467
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Portrait d’Olga dans un fauteuil », 1918, Huile sur toile, MP55, Musée National Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Trois danseuses : Olga Kokhlova, Lydia Lopoukhova et Loubov Chernicheva (d'après une photographie) - MP834 - 16-560478
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Trois danseuses : Olga Kokhlova, Lydia Lopoukhova et Loubov Chernicheva (d'après une photographie) », Début 1919, Crayon graphite et fusain sur papier à dessin vergé, 62,5 x 47,5 cm, MP834 , Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - La Salle à manger de l'artiste, rue de la Boétie - MP837 - 16-530564
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « La Salle à manger de l'artiste, rue de la Boétie »,1918-1919, Gouache et encre de Chine sur esquisse au crayon graphite sur papier, 22 x 31 cm, MP837, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Étude pour "Femme et enfant au bord de la mer" : enfant assis - MP1990-69 - 17-544240
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Étude pour "Femme et enfant au bord de la mer" : enfant assis », 23 décembre 1921, Sanguine, fusain et craie blanche sur papier préparé, 74 x 104 cm, MP1990-69, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Grand Nu au fauteuil rouge - MP113 - 16-524558
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Pablo Picasso, « Grand Nu au fauteuil rouge », 5 Mai 1929, Huile sur toile, 195 x 129 cm, MP113, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - La Nageuse - MP119 - 17-503945
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « La Nageuse », Novembre 1929, Huile sur toile, 130 x 162 cm, MP119, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Cirque forain - MP981 - 17-554087
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Cirque forain », Décembre 1922, Gouache sur papier à dessin vergé, 11,1 x 14,6 cm, MP981, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - L’Acrobate bleu - MP1990-15 - 90-005125
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « L’Acrobate bleu », Novembre 1929, Fusain et huile sur toile, 162 x 130 cm, MP1990-15, Musée national Picasso-Paris
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Picasso - Corrida - MP1145 - 16-550383
Légende
Pablo Picasso, « Corrida », Avril 1935, Crayons de couleur, crayons à la cire, crayon graphite, plume et encre de Chine sur papier à dessin vélin, 17,3 x 25,8 cm, MP1145, Musée national Picasso-Paris

The curators

Emilia Philippot
Curator, responsible for paintings (1895-1921) and drawings at Musée national Picasso-Paris

Joachim Pissaro
History of art professor and Hunter College Art Galleries director (Hunter College, City University of New York)

Bernard Ruiz-Picasso
Co-founder and co-president of the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte.

Pictures

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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso
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Salles de l'exposition Olga Picasso

Musée national Picasso-Paris's conferences 

Each exhibition at the Musée national Picasso-Paris gives rise to a series of monthly lectures, free and open to everyone in an intimate format. Led by curators, professionals or researchers from a variety of disciplines, they are an opportunity to extend or deepen the themes and reflections addressed in the exhibitions.

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Auditorium avec public

Catalogue

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Catalogue "Olga Picasso"
The exhibition catalogue
Olga Picasso
39 euros
Under the direction of :
Emilia Philippot, curator at Musée national Picasso-Paris
Joachim Pissarro, art historian, curator and Hunter College art galleries director
Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, co-founder et co-president of the Fundacion Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA)

Format : 22 x 28.7 cm
Language : french
Pages : 336 pages / 280 illustrations
Co-edition by Musée national Picasso-Paris / Gallimard