Pablo Picasso Blue Period Exhibit to Open at the AGO

Pablo Picasso, 1902–03, La soupe (The soup) By Pablo Picasso – wikipaintings

An exhibition presenting Pablo Picasso’s monochromic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green is coming to The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) this summer.

Co-organized by the AGO and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will run from June 27 to Sept. 20, 2020.

Picasso’s Blue Period (1901-1904) is one of the most celebrated episodes of the artist’s career and of 20th-century modernism.

Absorbing the artistic lessons of the French avant-garde during his second visit to Paris in 1901 before confronting the social and political climate of an economically struggling Barcelona in 1902-1904, Picasso, during this formative stage of his artistic development, created paintings, sculptures and works on paper that captured and probed modern life and its many discontents.

Curated by Dr. Susan Behrends Frank of The Phillips Collection and Kenneth Brummel, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Modern Art, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will include approximately 65 works of art by Picasso as well as a discrete selection of works by other artists that the young Spaniard would have known and studied.

This exhibition is the first on Picasso’s Blue Period to be mounted in Canada. The exhibit will also feature international loans from private collections and public institutions in North America, Europe, Japan and Israel.

The last major Picasso show to be organized or co-organized by a Canadian institution was in 1964 when Jean Sutherland Boggs mounted her landmark exhibition Picasso and Man at what was then the Art Gallery of Toronto (subsequently the AGO).

Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will mark the culmination of a multi-year international research project on the AGO’s two Blue Period paintings. Led by Brummel and the AGO’s former Senior Paintings Conservator Sandra Webster-Cook.

A richly illustrated catalogue published in association with Prestel/Delmonico and edited by Dr. Susan Behrends Frank and Kenneth Brummel will accompany the exhibition, featuring contributions by the exhibition’s curators, leading international Picasso scholars and the painting conservators of The Phillips Collection and the Art Gallery of Ontario.