Picasso 1932: Love, Fame and Tragedy Exhibition

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When first walking into the Exhibition Hall, your eyes are met with the direct cascades of overpowering colour and bold print- it’s almost as intrusive and explicit as the life story that is printed within these walls. As you venture down the many lengths of varying paintings, drawings and sculptures the narration begins with new, secret, untarnished love, yet to be discovered and yet develops through its discourse to the tragedy of death and desperation to save his love, explored through the concept of drowning.

As though scouring the pages of a diary we begin with the revelation of a mistress. Picasso was already married and his wife (Olga) was a persistent model in many of his paintings previously, however there clearly begins to be a new subject of interest exhibited throughout this time – Marie Thérèse Walter. Marie premiered with an obscured heart-shaped face so as to promote his love interest but maintain the identity for his own knowledge. Unlike conventional portraiture where subjects sit formally before the artist, this fragmented assembling of body parts resonated a sense of reconstructed memory in a style that seems childish, silly in-love.

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My favourite section of the exhibition however, would be the drawings of pencil, charcoal and ink that differ in its monochromatic tone to that of its colourful predecessors in the halls before. Not only that but they exhibit the fine details of mistakes and rubbings-out that had not been altered, scrapped or perfected. The faint lines of old decisions and mistakes are still put up for the world to see. I find this to be slightly analogous of the exhibition in general, while I do not in any way believe Picasso to have deemed his love affairs as mistakes and maybe he wasn’t even remorseful when Olga his wife found out – however here the past actions and seeming wrong actions are hung up for all to see. In the middle of such dramatic deceptions and mystery affairs it was this stream of consciousness that lead me to ponder this conclusion, even if there is no relation of this nature between them.

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As an art fan, it was so exciting to explore the thought-provoking painting as I reminisced in the life of Picasso, such an iconic household name. It was definitely worth the visit, especially when its located in such an exuberant place like London.

If you have any further interest this is a wonderful Guardian review I found to be really useful: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/11/picasso-1932-love-fame-tragedy-review-tate-modern

Becki ParkerComment