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Pablo Picasso

Jeux de Centaures: A Suite of Drawings

December 10, 1997–January 17, 1998
Beverly Hills

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948 Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948

Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948 Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948

Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948 Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

Pablo Picasso, Jeux de Centaures, 1948

Ink on paper, 23 ½ × 29 ¾ inches (59.7 × 75.6 cm)

About

Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of eleven drawings by Pablo Picasso entitled Jeux de Centaures. This series, depicting dancing centaurs and pipe-playing fauns, was created to provide the cover design for the 1948 season of the Ballet des Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Picasso’s interest in the spectacle dates back to his early youth, as seen in his many renderings of circus and music hall scenes. His first real participation with the ballet was in 1917 with Parade, during which he spent eight weeks in Rome with Jean Cocteau, Serge Diaghilev, and Léonide Massine.

The theme of the centaur and the pipe-playing faun was highlighted in a group of Picasso’s drawings (Zervos XIV, 203–223) made in the south of France in 1946. This renewed interest in classical references was inspired by his surroundings in the town of Antibes, the ancient site of Antipolis. Furthermore, the reverse technique of ink on paper, where the image consists of negative blank space and is silhouetted by ink laid solidly in the background, recalls the same process used in painting his ceramics, suggesting the importance and relevance of his own past.

Like all the pictures in the Musée Picasso at Antibes, these drawings reflect a happy period in the artist’s life. The joie de vivre inspired by the birth of his children, his involvement with music and dance, and his playful readaptation of the ceramic techniques defines this period in Picasso’s career.

A black-and-white portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler seated at a desk in front of a painting by Pablo Picasso.

Game Changer
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler

Michael Cary pays homage to the visionary dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884–1979).

Grace McCann Morley, c. 1950s.

Game Changer
Grace McCann Morley

Berit Potter pays homage to the ardent museum leader who transformed San Francisco’s relationship to modern art.

Charlotte Perriand in her studio on place Saint-Sulpice, Paris, 1928. The hands holding a plate halolike behind her head are Le Corbusier’s.

The New World of Charlotte Perriand

Inspired by a visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s exhibition Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World, William Middleton explores the life of this modernist pioneer and her impact on the worlds of design, art, and architecture.

Diana Widmaier-Picasso standing in front of a bookcase

Picasso and Maya: An Interview with Diana Widmaier-Picasso

Diana Widmaier-Picasso curated a presentation at Gagosian, Paris, to celebrate the publication of Picasso and Maya: Father and Daughter at the end of 2019. This comprehensive reference publication explores the figure of Maya Ruiz-Picasso, Pablo Picasso’s beloved eldest daughter, throughout Picasso’s work and chronicles the loving relationship between the artist and his daughter. In this video, Widmaier-Picasso details her ongoing interest in the subject and reflects on the process of making the book.

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Picasso in Italy: An Interview with Olivier Berggruen

Picasso in Italy: An Interview with Olivier Berggruen

Celebrating the one hundred-year anniversary of Picasso’s first trip to Italy, the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome is hosting the exhibition Picasso: Tra cubismo e classicismo 1915–1925, a grand presentation of two hundred works by the artist.