Just visited the Picasso’s Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, one of our favourite museums in London.
Picasso’s portraits show the amazing variety of his art and what makes him so unique, so different from any other artist. This major exhibition boasts over 80 works, including several celebrated masterpieces loaned by international institutions, various sculptures, drawings, sketches, humorous caricature and other works, such as hilarious cartoon strips he drew while travelling with his Catalan mate to Paris by train.
You can even watch one of the Picassos’ home videos, but nope, it’s nothing risqué, as you might expect from a man of his reputation and omnipresent sexual energy, it’s a surprisingly boring and bourgeois video of him and some close family members playing with their dog in the garden, fair enough. Too many sex tapes floating around these days anyway.
We’d disagree with the Evening Standard’s view that ‘this show […] exposes a side of Picasso’s output that isn’t often highlighted — portraits of people he knew.” Portraits are at the very centre of Picasso’s art and – refusing to do commissions – he regularly chose his models from among his close family, friends and lovers.
The exhibition is staged in association with the Museu Picasso, Barcelona, which we had visited earlier in the year and consider to be one of the best museums of Barcelona.
On the top of the list of exhibits rank the artist’s extraordinary cubist portrait from 1910 of the German art dealer and early champion of Picasso’s work, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, loaned by the Art Institute of Chicago, and the portrait from 1938 of Nusch Eluard, acrobat, artist and wife of the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard, from a private collection.
An absolute must-see exhibition for anyone who is within a short flying-distance of London and likes art. There’s no excuse not to see it!