Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy


Museums & Galleries


All ages


08/03/2018 - 09/09/2018


Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1 9TG

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

8 March– 9 September

Tickets: £22 adults, under 12s go free

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

ey exhibition picasso tate modern 

Pablo Picasso The Dream (Le Rêve) 1932, Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018

The first ever solo Pablo Picasso Exhibition at Tate Modern brings visitors face-to-face with more than 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, mixed with family photographs and rare glimpses into his personal life. 

a&u review

If you ask a child to name a famous artist, chances are they would come up with Picasso. However, I wonder if they would be able to name a painting. That of itself should put the new show at Tate Modern on your list.

For children this is all about colour, shape, form. In 1932 Picasso was at the height of his fame, living in bourgeois splendour with his wife and son, in a long term relationship with his much younger lover, preparing for his first retrospective. He was painting at a quite extraordinary rate. The rooms are set out chronologically and the sheer quantity of huge, colour-drenched canvases is overwhelming.

 Picasso Reading Fruit Bowl and Guitar Picasso 

The first five rooms are filled with swirling, voluptuous nudes and still lives. The sensuality is hard to ignore but kids will be more engaged looking at how the different shapes, the displaced eyes, noses and endless circular breasts fit together to create a whole.

Picasso The Yellow Belt Picasso Head of a Woman Reclining Nude Picasso

There will be much laughter at the overtly phallic faces but go with it. Noses that look like willies are AOK. And that is why this show is so brilliant for children. At the hands of the master, it demystifies art and different ways in which you can present what you see. Yes, those legs do look a lot like an octopus - there is even a short silent film of the real thing (don't miss it, it is curiously hypnotic). 

Paulo as a Harlequin Picasso Girl in a Chemise Picasso

Though if they need any convincing that a man who painted lots of swirly bosoms in red armchairs was also a brilliant classical painter, it comes in Room 6, with artworks from the retrospective which took place in Paris in the summer of 1932.

Composition with Butterfly Picasso Crucifixion Picasso

The latter half of the show develops a more sombre mood. The series of bathing paintings and photographs are fun and don't miss the tiny butterfly collage. We think kids will relish the almost cartoon-like skeletons that make up the crucifixion pictures but there is a sinister feeling that pervades the last room with its images of drowning. The end of 1932 saw a change in the world order and Picasso's personal life that is palpable.

This is a show to go to with children armed with a sketchbook and a pencil. Wander through chronologically and then encourage them go back to their favourite and have a go. Or the room of black and white line drawings (gallery 8) would be a good place to start sketching. The beauty in a single fluid pencil line is breathtaking. Just go!

Woman with a Flower Picasso

Book your EY Exhibition: Picasso tickets at tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ey-exhibition-picasso-1932-love-fame-tragedy

Picture Credits (from top):

Reading (Private Collection)

Fruit Bowl and Guitar (Nahmad Collection, Monaco)

The Yellow Belt (Nahmad Collection, Monaco)

Head of a Woman (Musee National Paris)

Reclining Nude (Private Collection)

Paulo as a Harlequin (Musee National Picasso Paris)

Girl in a Chemise (Tate)

Composition with Butterfly (Musee National Picasso Paris)

The Crucifixion (Musee National Picasso Paris)

Woman with Flower Writing (Private Collection)

All images are © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

8 March– 9 September

Tickets: £22 adults, under 12s go free

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