Metamorphosis of the figure

February 22nd – June 30th, 2024
Curated by Malén Gual and Ricardo Ostalé

For Picasso, the art that inspired his work, that moved his creative mind in an unstoppable desire to break new ground, was not ‘primitive’. There is no ‘before’ or ‘after’ in art, there is no ‘other’ or ‘different’ art: Picasso conceived art as a timeless Whole. “There is neither past nor future in art. – he loved to emphasise – If a work of art cannot always live in the present, it has no meaning”. Pablo Picasso always showed profound respect for the artistic manifestations of other cultures and times. More than any artist of his generation, he had the ability to understand and reinvent these artistic expressions with the noble aim of giving impulse and a new path of exploration to universal art.

The great exhibition “Picasso. Metamorphosis of the figure” organised by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE and promoted by the Municipality of Milan – Culture Department, with the contribution of Deloitte Foundation, the Institutional Partner, and with the patronage of the Embassy of Spain in Italy, retraces the entire career of Picasso – from his early works to the later ones – in light of his love for ‘primitive’ artistic sources, for ‘primitive art’, describing this constant intellectual reworking and the artistic legacy of his vision through a major exhibition project hosting over forty works by the Spanish master, including paintings, sculptures and 26 drawings and sketches of preparatory studies from the extremely precious Notebook No. 7, which was loaned for the exhibition by the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation – Casa Natal Museum in Malaga.

As a matter of fact, in this absolutely peculiar and unprecedented journey, the exhibition enjoyed the fundamental support of all the main Spanish museums that are preserving Picasso’s most important collections in his homeland, Spain: first and foremost the Casa Natal Museum in Malaga, but also the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, as well as several private collectors.

Indeed, it is important to make the public aware of how Picasso grasped the essence and meaning of other artistic sources, assimilating them into his production throughout his life, from 1906 – a pivotal year for his artistic development – until his last works of the 1960s. Around 1925, with the return to ‘primitivism’, the artist derived the tools of plastic language from African examples, but also from Neolithic and Proto-Iberian examples (from pre-Roman Spain), Oceanic art, ancient Egyptian art and classical Greece (black-figure vases). Picasso invented transpositions, reshaped figures with disproportionate volumes, generating a constant metamorphosis of figures that was often characterised by a strong erotic connotation, and that guided the evolution of his painting and sculpture, especially in times of personal or social crisis.

The exhibition, curated by Malén Gual, Honorary Curator of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, together with Ricardo Ostalé, ideally closes a long 2023 of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the painter’s death with an event that is strongly and deliberately ‘Spanish’ for what concerns the identity of the project, but also ‘universal’ thanks to the artistic vision proposed to the public by Picasso.

0254917 (mon-fri 9.00-18.00)

22 February 2024 – 30 June 2024
Monday 14.30 – 19.30
Tuesday – Wednesday – Friday – Sunday 9.30 – 19.30
Thursday – Saturday 9.30 – 22.30

Mudec – Museo delle Culture
Via Tortona 56, Milan

Donna che gioca in spiaggia – Femme jouant sur la plage
1928, olio su tela
Collezione privata
© Succession Picasso, by SIAE 2024

Pablo Picasso
Testa di donna – Tête de femme
1926, olio su tela
Collezione privata
© Succession Picasso, by SIAE 2024

Pablo Picasso
Donna seduta – Femme assise
1917, olio su tela
Museu Picasso – Barcellona
© Succession Picasso, by SIAE 2024