It's all black and white in new Picasso exhibition

Thu Oct 4, 2012 5:53pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pablo Picasso may be best known for his Blue and Rose Periods and Cubism but the Spanish artist also used black and white in his works, many of which will be shown in a new exhibition opening on Friday at New York's Guggenheim Museum.

"Picasso Black and White," which runs through January 23 and includes 118 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from 1904 to 1971, focuses on Picasso's exploration of the use of the two colors.

"This is the first exhibition that examines his continuous use of the black and white palette throughout his career, therefore we think it is a ground-breaking exhibition," said Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.

"We think this offers new insights into his creative character," he added.

From "La Repasseuse" a stark, somber 1904 oil on canvas painting of an angular woman ironing to "The Kiss," a work in dark gray and black that was completed decades later, the exhibition runs in chronological order up the curving ramps of the museum.

It includes works that have never been seen in public before and more than 30 will be on view in the United States for the first time.

Carmen Gimenez, the curator of the exhibition, said the minimal use of color in Picasso's works in the exhibition showed his focus on line, form, drawings and tones, which is evident in "The Kitchen," a 1948 painting of angles, circles, curves, and varying shades of gray.

"His interest in on drawing and on the line," she explained in an interview.   Continued...

Pablo Picasso's "The Charnel House" Paris 1944-45; dated 1945, an oil and charcoal on canvas is seen in this undated handout photo released to Reuters on October 4, 2012. REUTERS/� The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource/Handout