Picasso Museum Retrospective Revisited

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In a year of several surprisingly seminal Pablo Picasso exhibitions — including prime presentations at the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Marlborough Gallery in New York — the Kunsthaus Zurich’s reconstruction of Picasso’s first museum retrospective, originally on view at the institution in 1932, takes the prize for the best collection of major works by the influential artist in 2010. Exhibiting 100 of the 225 paintings, sculptures, and drawings that Picasso personally selected for his museum premiere, the Zurich show assembles Cubist gems, neo-classical masterpieces, and striking Surrealist studies of his young mistress and muse from the late ‘20s and early ‘30s, Marie-Thérèse Walter.

“There’s a creed about Picasso, almost a dogma, that he passed through a series of quite separate styles: first the Blue Period, then the Rose, then Cubism—and so on,” states Kunsthaus Zurich curator Tobia Bezzola. “Lots of academics have tried to prove that this is how things were. But starting in 1915 it’s quite evident that Picasso didn’t develop on a linear, one-track basis. You can see different strands of styles developing in parallel. That’s the Picasso this exhibition shows: the one who was fluent in many different styles at once.”

Picasso is on view at the Kunsthaus Zurich through January 30.

Click through below for a gallery of images.

Pablo Picasso, The yellow belt: Marie-Thérèse Walter (La ceinture jaune: Marie-Thérèse Walter), 1932. Oil on canvas, 131 x 97 cm, Courtesy Nahmad Collection, Switzerland © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Water jug and fruit bowl (Pichet et coupe de fruits), 1931. Oil on canvas, 130.2 x 194.9 cm, Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest Morton D. May. ProLitteris © 2010, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Nude on the beach (Nu debout au bord de la mer), 1929. Oil on canvas, 129.9 x 96.8 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1995 © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Bathers with a Ball (Baigneuses au ballon), 1928. Oil on canvas, 15.9 x 21.9 cm, Private collection © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, The painter and his model (Le peintre et son modèle), 1927. Oil on canvas, 214 x 200 cm, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran. ProLitteris © 2010, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Artist and model (L’artiste et le modèle), 1928. Oil on canvas, 129.8 x 163 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Mandolin and Guitar (Mandoline et guitare), 1924. Oil with sand on canvas, 140.7 x 200.3 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Making Music Harlequin (Arlequin Musicien), 1924. Oil on canvas, 113.8 cm x 97,2 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Given in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber, Rita Schreiber © 2010 by ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Man with Clarinet (Homme à la clarinette), 1911/12. Oil on canvas, 106 x 69 cm, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Woman in Shirt (Jeune femme en chemise), c. 1905. Oil on canvas, 72.7 x 60 cm, Tate, London, Bequeathed by C. Frank Stoop, 1933 © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

Pablo Picasso, Gustave Coquiot, 1901. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne / Centre de création industrial. Donated by Mme Gustave Coquiot 1933 © 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich