So Picasso… 1932: Love, Fame and Tragedy (exhibition review)

Picasso, his collection of artworks produced, finished or left incomplete in 1932. A breath-taking journey undertaken by one of the greatest artists of all time. 

How much is a year in a man’s life? For some, it might mean completing a year of education, maybe finished with a diploma, for some it might mean entering a new life stage, maybe accompanied with a ring, for some it might not be any of that, just another a year of a very regular life. What happened to you in the past year? What makes it special? I leave it up to you to judge. 

How much is a year in an artist’s life? For some, it might be another painting, completed for a commission, for some it might be an idea that springs to mind when least expected. For Picasso, it was 12 intense months of a massive development in his creative career, the peak of a career of a poor Spanish boy who became a wealthy 50-something artist. The EY exhibition Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy documents 1932 and brings Picasso’s artwork under one roof, the Tate Modern’s one, until the 9th September 2018.

“the individuals parts come together to create a soulful whole”

The “year of wonders”* was the icebreaker for Picasso. But from the perspective of a design student, there is not much I can say other than to comment on the look of the exhibition. Which is awesome! Each section is decorated in a specific style, reflecting but not overshadowing the art pieces displayed all around. Some busier than others, the individuals parts come together to create a soulful whole which communicates well a personality so challenging to understand. 

From love life to the (other) everyday struggles, Picasso was expressing emotions in his specific way which was applauded and admired already almost a century ago. Today, we salute him even more. We stare at the shapes on a canvas, picturing a woman (or a man, or a plant, or a pot, or all of the above, or something else) that might have been the object of his painting. We admire the colour combinations that inspired generations of artists to come and encouraged many more to play and experiment with hues and shades. We pay tribute to the man who redefined art. 

“spacious, light and (too) little chaotic

Unlike in the Picasso’s museum in Paris, the Tate Modern’s exhibition is spacious, light and (too) little chaotic. A perfect contrast to what Picasso’s life was described and visualised as (among others by the film Midnight in Paris).

The Collection of over 100 artworks all produced in 1932 is, not surprisingly, impressive. But if you do not share a deep love for art of this kind, you mind be just as well off with browsing around other rooms of the Tate Modern for free. 

* see Tate Modern for more 

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