Barcelona’s Picasso Museum owns more than four thousand works by the great 20th century artist whose multiple disciplines spanned far more than painting alone. He was also a sculptor, ceramicist, engraver, and stage designer. And, he was a prolific writer from a young age, which forms the basis of the museum’s latest exhibition.
As a child Picasso was a voracious reader – famously he always claimed that he did not learn to read or write at school, but rather taught himself - and he would often pen letters to his parents when the family lived in La Coruña at the end of the 19th century, in which he lavishly captioned his illustrations with prose. It was here, age 11, that he had his first public art exhibition.
By the time the family moved to Barcelona in 1895 poetry had become an important means of self-expression for him and this current exhibition, Picasso Poeta, explores his imaginative and creative process in a broader context based on new research that closely links his writing and painting.
Picasso immediately ingratiated himself into the artistic and intellectual circles of the time, who were known for their ‘tertulias’, (informal gatherings in places like the now iconic restaurant Quatre Gats (Carrer de Montsío 3) where there would discuss creative issues and current affairs of the day.
The literary movements that grew out of them were instrumental in establishing the route that art would take in the first decades of the twentieth century, and Pablo Picasso was very much of the forefront of the movement. Indeed, his work as a "painter of poetry" is as extensive, and as important, as that of the painter.
“When it comes down to it, all arts are one. You can write a painting with words, just as you can paint feelings in a poem,” he said.
In this exhibition the visitor sees how his writing and his painting, which invites us to consider reality and understand structures in completely new ways, come together as one.
The show is a dazzling achievement that shows the creativity, imagination and artistry of Pablo Picasso at his very best, and firmly establishes his writing as an integral part of his artistic canon.
Due to high demand, early purchase of tickets is recommended.