Olivier Widmaier Picasso


On the occasion of the reopening of the Picasso Museum this October 25th, Artsper invited Picasso’s grandson, Olivier Widmaier-Picasso, to make a selection of contemporary works echoing the work of the painter.

"At a moment when the Musée National Picasso in Paris reopens its doors after five years of renovation works, it is interesting to see how contemporary artists can be put in relation with my grand-father’s work. This selection is not meant to create consensual or forced relations, but to show how artists share a common ground. Actually, Picasso’s aura is rather a constraint from which contemporary artists try to distance themselves.

The 2008 show "Picasso et les maîtres" (Picasso and the Masters) at the Grand Palais has shown, for me, how Pablo Picasso is a classical painter through the references that are common to the great painters in the history of art. But, if we think of his explorations, Picasso is also a contemporary artist: constructions, installations, recovered materials, photography - these are areas that belong to contemporary art. Picasso has also made experiments in these fields. So we can speak of echoes if we examine the practice of artists who work today.

This is the context in which I wanted to place the selection that I made with the Artsper team. It was a dialog between us to determine the limits of this exercise: to recognize and discover what could echo Picasso’s work in terms of theme, subject and treatment of the works. I also think that my great-grandfather was curious about new techniques and that the Internet would have certainly been an open field to him. No limits, free and universal: exactly like his work."

"Echos" - Olivier Widmaier-Picasso

Olivier Widmaier-Picasso is the author of the biography “Picasso, portrait intime” (Picasso, an Intimate Portrait) published by Albin Michel/Arte Éditions.

- The Musée National Picasso Museum whose President is Laurent Le Bon reopens after 5 years of renovation and extension works. It has over 5,300 m2 of which 3,800 m2 are represented by exhibition spaces and now has 34 halls, 15 more than the old one. The inaugural show presents 400 works, of the 5,000 that represent the museum collection. The last floor was redesigned and hosts Pablo Picasso’s personal collection. The collection has nearly 100 works by artists such as Renoir, Degas, Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse, le Douanier Rousseau.

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