"Guernica" at the Musée national Picasso-Paris, Paris, France.
On view March 27 through July 29, 2018.
Following the 80th anniversary of the work’s creation, the Musée national Picasso-Paris in partnership with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is dedicating an exhibition to the story of Guernica, an exceptional painting by Pablo Picasso and probably one of the most famous artworks in the world. Since 1992, the masterpiece can be seen in its permanent location in Madrid.
Painted in 1937, this monumental artwork is both a synthesis of the plastic research conducted by Picasso for 40 years and a popular icon. Exhibited and replicated all over the world, Guernica has been, all at once, an anti-Franco, an anti-fascist, and a pacifist symbol. Theorized by art historians and artists, the work has inspired many written works and commentary.
Thanks to the exceptional loan of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, through numerous sketches and post-scriptums of Guernica, the genesis of the artwork is presented from the bullfights to Minotauromachies in the 1930s up until the Spanish civil war burst into Picasso’s life and art. The display reminds us of the artwork’s context, emphasizing the shock caused by the bombing of the Basque village of Gernika, on April 26, 1937. An important partnership with the National Archives of France offers the possibility of presenting a group of posters that comes from the fund of the International Brigades.
The second part of the exhibition shows the story and the legacy of Guernica, whose power comes from its visual, political, and literary contexts in which it has been exhibited: the Pavilion of the International Exhibition of Art and Techniques of 1937; Christian Zervos's review in Cahiers d’art. The exhibition also testifies to the role the masterpiece played in Spanish anti-Franco artistic circles, and of its future as a pacifist post-war icon. Lastly, it questions the influence of Guernica on twentieth century art to the present day—large-scale rewritings by several contemporary artists, such as Robert Longo, Art & Language and Damien Deroubaix, will punctuate the installation.