CLEVELAND, Ohio – For the first time in nearly two decades, the Cleveland Museum of Art will take a deep dive back into the world of Pablo Picasso.
The museum announced today that it will host the international traveling exhibition, “Picasso and Paper,” from May 24 to August 23, 2020. It will be the museum’s first large-scale Picasso exhibition since 2001.
A news release states that the show will showcase over 300 works spanning the artist’s entire career and highlight the artist’s “deep appreciation of the physical world and his desire to manipulate diverse materials.”
The exhibition will be co-organized by the Cleveland museum and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Musée Picasso, Paris.
The exhibition is curated by William H. Robinson of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Emilia Philippot of the Musée Picasso, Paris. A scholarly publication accompanies the exhibition.
“The range of works on paper and their relationship to works in other media is extraordinary,” Robinson said Wednesday in an email.
The release states that Picasso’s “relentless exploration of working on and with paper’’ will be featured in “collages of cut-and-pasted papers, sculptures from pieces of torn and burnt paper, documentary photographs and manipulated photographs on paper, and an array of printmaking techniques on paper supports.”
Highlights of the show will include “Femmes à leur toilette,” of 1937–38, a collage measuring more than 9 by 14 feet. It will be exhibited in the U.K. for the first time in 50 years and in the U.S. for the first time in 40 years.
Other highlights will include Cubist collages, sketchbooks, including studies for “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon;” Surrealist- and Cubist-period guitars and works related to major paintings and sculptural projects.
Robinson said in an email that the exhibit poses challenges due to the light-sensitive nature of many of the works that will be on view.
“The curators are working closely with paper conservators to ensure the safety of all the objects,” he said. “In some cases, this will require rotating works or limiting the period of display of certain works. Despite these challenges, the exhibition will be roughly similar in both Cleveland and London.”
The exhibition will be organized chronologically in 10 sections, with a limited number of related paintings and sculptures provided for context, including the Cleveland museum’s seminal Blue Period masterpiece, “La Vie,” of 1903.
The Cleveland museum’s last major Picasso exhibition was “Picasso: The Artist’s Studio,’’ exhibited in 2001 during Katharine Reid’s tenure as director.
Robinson also organized a smaller Focus Gallery exhibition, “Picasso and the Mysteries of Life,” in collaboration with the Museu Picasso, Barcelona, in 2012. It revealed new interpretations of “La Vie.”
The museum also organized “Picasso and Things,” an exhibition exploring the artist’s still lifes, as part of a trio of major shows celebrating its 75th anniversary in 1991-92.