LONDON – An exhibition at London’s Tate Modern will reunite three Picasso nudes painted days apart but not displayed together for almost a century, the gallery said Thursday.
“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” ”Nude in a Black Armchair” and “The Mirror” are boldly colored depictions of the artist’s lover Marie-Therese Walter, all painted in a five-day period of March 1932.
The paintings are held in private collections but are being loaned for an exhibit focusing on Picasso’s work during a single year, 1932. They haven’t been displayed together since Picasso’s exhibitions in Paris and Zurich that year.Announcing details of the show, Tate Modern said that 1932 is now seen as the artist’s “year of wonders,” confirming him as a 20th century master who absorbed and transcended styles including Cubism and surrealism.
But curator Achim Borchardt-Hume said that at the time people were asking: “Is he still valid or is he over?”
“He was very aware of people asking that question.”
“Picasso 1932 — Love, Fame, Tragedy” includes more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the Spanish artist, who at the time was 50 and living in Paris. Highlights include “The Dream,” another portrait of Walter that is considered among Picasso’s greatest works. It was once owned by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, who put his elbow through the canvas in 2006 just after agreeing to sell it for $139 million.
The show will explore the interplay between Picasso’s work and his life — including a complicated love life which Borchardt-Hume said draws comparisons to the much-married King Henry VIII.
But the curator said it wouldn’t reduce the artist to “salacious love affairs.”
“One of the things we will try to do is actually go back to Picasso as an artist, who like any other artist faced the question every morning when he got up: What to do next?” he said.
The show was organized by Tate and the Picasso Museum in Paris, where it will run — without the three nudes — from Oct. 10 to Feb. 11.
The exhibit is scheduled to open at Tate Modern on March 8, 2018 and runs to Sept. 9.
This story has been corrected to show that the three nudes will not feature in the Paris exhibition.