Wow, Picasso!

ABU DHABI - Two more weeks are left before the Pablo Picasso exhibition comes to an end on September 4 in Abu Dhabi.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Fri 22 Aug 2008, 1:32 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:08 PM

Strolling through the quiet galleries filled with masterpieces after masterpieces could be one of the most enlightening experiences one could have this summer.

From its collection of over 5,000 art pieces, the Picasso National Museum in Paris brought to Abu Dhabi 183 paintings, sculptures and drawings. They have been on display at Emirates Palace since March 27.

The exhibition is structured chronologically in six galleries, starting with the artist's earliest years, the Blue and Pink periods of 1906-1909. Then follow the years of Cubism (1910-1914), Classicism (1915-1923), Surrealism and Poetic Calligraphy (1934-1935), Committed Paintings (1935-1939), War Paintings (1939-1951) and Picasso and the Masters (1952-1972).

As soon as entering the exhibition, the viewer comes face to face with Picasso's first masterpiece: the 1901 blue Self-Portrait - an unusually composed, somewhat tragic image of the artist at an young age.

In the predominantly green and brown landscape with Two Figures and Three Figures Under a Tree, there is a feeling of peace and tranquillity, but also of sharpness, induced but the first strokes of Cubism.

"One of the fundamental points of Cubism was to displace reality: reality was no longer in the subject, but in the painting itself," said Picasso about this new art style born in the beginning of 1900s.

Some of his best-known works in this style are displayed here: Man with a Mandoline and Man with a Guitar, whose soft colours are in contrast with the strong, geometrical painting, deconstructing both space and form.

One of Picasso's most iconic works from these early years, the Pipes of Pan (1923), is the point of focus among his works in Classicism.

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