Dozens of museum across Europe and the US will mark the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death next year through an extensive programme of events.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the death of world-renowned painter, Pablo Picasso – on April 8, 1973 – the French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, and the Spanish Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, revealed the rich programme for ‘Picasso Celebration 1973-2023‘ in Madrid in front of one of the painter’s most iconic painting, Guernica.

“It is in front of Guernica, a universal painting, a manifesto for peace, that together with my Spanish counterpart, Miquel Iceta, we launched the Year of Picasso for the fiftieth anniversary of his death. In seven countries we will explore, question and share his work with new generations,” highlighted the French Minister of Culture.

It will be a grand celebration with no less than forty major exhibitions planned across Europe and America. While Spain and France will be at the core of the celebrations with respectively 16 and 12 exhibitions, other countries will also be part of it: first and foremost Spain will host 16 exhibitions, in France there will be 12 exhibitions and seven in the United States (7 exhibitions). There will also be two in Germany and Switzerland as well as one exhibition in Belgium, Monaco and Romania.

A total of 38 museums are involved in the programme including exhibitions in secondary cities such as Avignon, Charlotte, Malaga or Münster.

Picasso Celebration 2023
The Picasso Museum in Paris (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

The extensive programme will begin next October, with temporary exhibitions on the figure of the painter to be held in various museums in the country, and will continue throughout 2023, the year of the anniversary commemoration, when it will be 50 years since the painter’s death. The artist passed away in the French town of Mougins on 8 April 1973. This date marks the celebration of his work and artistic legacy in Spain and France, as well as internationally.

Exhibitions and symposiums to explore aspects of Picasso’s life and work

In Europe and the United States, the exhibitions and associated programs of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 will therefore highlight the artist’s influence throughout the 20th century and his continued reference for artists of the 21st century through a variety of approaches such as:

• Picasso’s global approach to the cultural heritage of Europe, starting from a deep knowledge of masters such as El Greco, Goya, Velázquez and Poussin, with whom he established a dialogue in the present, as he did with his contemporaries Joan Miró and Julio González.

Basel Kunstlmuseum will be one of the only 2 Swiss museums to participate in Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

• The artist’s need for constant evolution, approached through specific research, precise periods and their repercussions: his formative years, period of formation, the year of the “great transformation” of 1906, studies on the unfinished decoration of Hamilton Easter Field or the work of the late sixties and seventies. A distinctiveness that is also evident in all the art fields explored by Picasso such as ceramics, sculpture, theatre, dance and writing.
• Finally, exhibitions and symposiums will also explore the various influences on Picasso and his legacy until today.

The anniversary will also be marked by the opening of the Centre for Picasso Studies at the National Picasso Museum-Paris in the historic spaces of the Hôtel de Rohan. The museum’s documentation, library and archives will thus be brought together around a research centre and a digital portal that will make the Picasso museum a unique reference point for the artist.

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