PICASSO. FIGURES at Nashville’s Frist Art Museum

December 10, 2020  15:40  |  News

The Frist Art Museum will kick off its 20th anniversary with Picasso. Figures, an exhibition from the incomparable collection of the Musée national Picasso-Paris. The exhibition offers an in-depth look at Pablo Picasso’s career-long fascination with the human figure as a means of expressing a range of subjects and emotions. Featuring approximately 75 paintings works on paper, and sculptures, Picasso. Figures will make its sole U.S. appearance in Nashville in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from February 5 through May 2, 2021.

PICASSO. FIGURES at Nashville's Frist Art Museum

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). Portrait of Dora Maar, Paris, November 23, 1937. Oil on canvas, 21 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. Musée national Picasso-Paris, Pablo Picasso Acceptance in Lieu, 1979. MP166. © 2020 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo ©

Highlights of the exhibition include masterpieces from Picasso’s various styles and periods, as well as more intimate works that provide fresh insights into his innovative practice. “Viewers will see how, as Picasso continuously deconstructed and then remade the body, he was also recasting the history of figuration as a combination of his own psychological view of humanity and observations about the disruptive nature of life in the 20th century,” says Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala.

“We are delighted to work with the Musée national Picasso-Paris—the home of the world’s largest and most comprehensive public collection of works by the iconic artist—to bring Picasso. Figures to Nashville,” says Frist Art Museum director and CEO Susan H. Edwards. “Through the extraordinary generosity and support of our community for almost 20 years now, we have been able to deliver on our mission to present world-class exhibitions in Nashville. For many years, we have been looking for a Picasso show of this caliber, and we are thrilled that during our 20th anniversary we will be able to share this astonishing collection with our city and everyone who will travel to see it.”

The works in Picasso. Figures range from geometric abstractions of the human body to emotionally charged depictions of family, friends, and lovers, illustrating Picasso’s career, offering a panoramic summary of his wide-ranging creativity while providing glimpses of his tumultuous relationships with his wives, mistresses, muses, and models. The focus then shifts to Picasso’s renowned cubist period of the early 20th century. Of particular interest are works that demonstrate the powerful influence of African and Iberian art on this radical style, in which perceptions of time, space, and reality are altered in ways that embody the ideal of artistic freedom manifested by artists of the period. Continuing through the exhibition, visitors will encounter paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that reflect Picasso’s experiments with a variety of styles, including surrealism, neoclassicism, and expressionism. Picasso. Figures culminate in late works, characterized by vivid colours, exuberant brushstrokes, and playful twists on the old masters, showing that Picasso’s endless desire to reinvent painting continued until the end of his life.


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