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Extended through June 29, 2019

Picasso’s Women: Fernande to Jacqueline

A tribute to John Richardson

May 3–June 29, 2019
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Pablo Picasso, La femme-fleur (Françoise Gilot), 1946 Oil on canvas, 68 ½ × 26 inches (174 × 66 cm)© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, La femme-fleur (Françoise Gilot), 1946

Oil on canvas, 68 ½ × 26 inches (174 × 66 cm)
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Tête de femme (Fernande), 1909 Bronze, 16 × 10 ¼ × 10 inches (40.6 × 26 × 25.4 cm)© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Tête de femme (Fernande), 1909

Bronze, 16 × 10 ¼ × 10 inches (40.6 × 26 × 25.4 cm)
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Le rêve (Marie-Thérèse), 1932 Oil on canvas, 51 ¼ × 38 ⅝ inches (130 × 98 cm)© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Le rêve (Marie-Thérèse), 1932

Oil on canvas, 51 ¼ × 38 ⅝ inches (130 × 98 cm)
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme (Dora Maar), 1940 Oil on canvas, 29 ⅛ × 23 ⅝ inches (74 × 60 cm)© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme (Dora Maar), 1940

Oil on canvas, 29 ⅛ × 23 ⅝ inches (74 × 60 cm)
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Tête de femme, 1963 Oil on canvas, 28 ¾ × 21 ⅝ inches (73 × 55 cm)© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso, Tête de femme, 1963

Oil on canvas, 28 ¾ × 21 ⅝ inches (73 × 55 cm)
© 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About

I am perhaps a painter without style. 
—Pablo Picasso

Gagosian, in partnership with members of the Picasso family, is pleased to present Picasso’s Women: Fernande to Jacqueline, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures that attests to the central role and influence of the many women in Picasso’s life. It has been organized in honor of the gallery’s late friend and colleague, Sir John Richardson.

In the early 1960s, Richardson was planning to write a study of Picasso’s portraits and spent hours with the artist, poring over reproductions of his works. As Picasso spoke about the complexities of his pictorial thinking—pointing out, for example, that a portrait of Dora Maar might also contain elements referring to her romantic predecessor Marie-Thérèse Walter, and her successor Françoise Gilot—Richardson began to believe that a detailed biographical treatment of Picasso’s portraiture would close a notable gap in Picasso scholarship. Decades later he would sit down to write what would become the monumental multivolume biography, A Life of Picasso.

Maar once told Richardson that when a new woman entered Picasso’s life, everything changed: the art, the house, the poetry, even the dog. And yet, Maar’s observation is a bit misleading, for within the era of each successive muse, Picasso never settled on a singular style. Rather, in penetrating Picasso’s imagination, each woman served as a catalyst for experiments in color and form that would continue to change as the contours of the relationship shifted. It is through this process that Picasso’s work was constantly reinvented and renewed.

Picasso was as eclectic in his choice of muse as he was in style: the bohemian Fernande Olivier; disciplined Olga Khokhlova; blonde Venus Marie-Thérèse; passionate artists Dora and Françoise; Sylvette David, the young woman with a high ponytail; and Jacqueline Roque, the devoted, romantic beauty. Picasso’s portraits of these women express psychological insights, as well as the drama that only profound intimacy can reveal. He depicts each, as Leo Steinberg has argued, not how she presents herself to the world, but how she feels inside. These women invoke poetry, beauty, war, and poverty, ingeniously reflecting the spirit and reality of the changing times. Not merely mute muses, Fernande and Françoise published memoirs; Olga and Marie-Thérèse kept extensive archives of photographs and letters over decades; Dora gave interviews to researchers and documented Picasso’s work and private life in photographs. Picasso’s women are as essential to our understanding of the artist and his oeuvre as they were instrumental in his creative life.

Kindly be advised tour groups will not be permitted in the exhibition. All photography is also prohibited. Additionally, personal items such as large bags, tote bags, or umbrellas will not be allowed in the exhibition as we can not accomodate or provide storage for such items.

Read more

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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

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

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Diana Widmaier-Picasso standing in front of a bookcase

Picasso and Maya: An Interview with Diana Widmaier-Picasso

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

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Claude Picasso and John Richardson

In Conversation
Claude Picasso and John Richardson

Picasso biographer Sir John Richardson sits down with Claude Picasso to discuss Claude’s photography, his enjoyment of vintage car racing, and the future of scholarship related to his father, Pablo Picasso.