Picasso cuts a huge figure in art history; schoolboys learn about his Blue, African, Cubist, and surrealist periods. But interest diminishes after Guernica in 1937, and his personal life – admittedly a fun, sordid tale of mistresses in succession – overshadows his later work.
Gagosian’s Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris–Vallauris 1943–1953 takes on the life and work of both Picasso and his then-mistress Françoise Gilot. Interesting hints of Picasso’s feelings for Gilot, his relationship with their children Paloma and Claude, and his Communist party membership, emerge from this collection of paintings, lithographs, and even ceramics. The work has not received the attention it deserves.
The exhibition also features Gilot as an artist in her own right. Her paintings are pleasing, puzzling, and distinct in style from those of her sometimes lover (she is said to have preferred Braque’s paintings to Picasso’s). Now 91 years old, she continues to paint in New York and Paris.
Catch this show before it closes at the end of the week—you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Make sure to see the lower level’s lithograph collection and the underrated masterpiece La femme-fleur.
And don’t worry—we hear Gagosian has good security.
Image: Robert Doisneau, Pablo Picasso et Francoise Gilot, 1952. Courtesy Musée National Picasso, Paris, © atelier Robert Doisneau.