Entertainment Quick Fix: ‘Picasso.mania’ Highlights the Artist’s Enduring Impact

The Blue Acrobat

Picasso’s ‘Musketeer sitting holding a sword’ (1969) © Succession Picasso

Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Blue Acrobat’ (1929) © Succession Picasso/Centre Pompidou

Source: WSJ

A new exhibition at Paris’s Grand Palais looks at the breadth and length of Picasso’s influence, juxtaposing the Spanish master’s work with that of 75 artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol

From art world stalwarts Andy Warhol and David Hockney to new stars like Yan Pei-Ming and Maurizio Cattelan, artists have turned to Pablo Picasso’s works for inspiration and guidance. Almost every art trend that has appeared since his death in 1973 at 91 has been touched by a stroke of Picasso’s genius, says Pompidou Center assistant director Didier Ottinger. Now, the Grand Palais in Paris is bringing them all together into one exhibition.

“Picasso.mania,” co-curated by the Spanish master’s granddaughter Diana Widmaier-Picasso and Emilie Bouvard of the Picasso Museum Paris, under the direction of Mr. Ottinger, showcases 400 works by 75 artists—many of which have rarely been seen in public—in a chronological and thematic exploration of Picasso’s impact.

‘Picasso.mania’ at Paris’s Grand Palais

A new Picasso exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris sets out to show the Spanish artist’s lasting influence by showing his work alongside that of 75 other artists, including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Yan Pei-Ming.

“Many artists told me his audacity and constant reinventing were an inspiration,” says Ms. Widmaier-Picasso. Her grandfather, she adds, anticipated much of what later artists did. His collages and use of proverbs or brands presaged pop art and the way he set up his cardboard guitars could be seen as a prelude to installations. “A lot of artists like Jeff Koons, who used to speak only about Duchamp, are now closer to Picasso,” she says.

Jasper Johns’s early work, like that of Mr. Koons, was rooted in Duchamp’s conceptual principles—to the point that even the lithograph he created as a tribute to Picasso in 1972, “Cups 4 Picasso,” was said to resemble his mentor’s 1958 “Self-Portrait in Profile.” But by the ’80s, the American painter was referencing Picasso in pieces like “Seasons” (1985-86), a series of four works inspired by the Spanish artist’s 1953 “The Shadow.” Included in the Grand Palais exhibition, the rarely seen paintings depict a man’s shadow spliced with household objects and weather.

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