It’s pretty interesting to see how everybody knows Picasso and yet no one can really grasp the immensity of his work. Never has someone produced such a high amount and diverse form of art. Some might be accustomed to his surrealist paintings, others might have seen the Guernica painting during a class of history… but it will take a lifetime to explore the unlimited facettes of this artist who’s sole purpose was to express his talent and creativity in every possible way.
The Fondation Beyeler located in Basel takes the time to focus on the blue and rose periods of the artist. It is without a doubt the most awaited exhibition in 2019 in Switzerland, if not in Europe. The whole space is taken over by paintings of Picasso created between 1901 and 1906. Both eras are the embodiment of modern art of the XXth century and take inspiration from personal events.
From 1901 to 1904, the blue period represents sad years for the artist. Mourning the suicide of his dear friend Carlos Casagemas, he uses a cold colour palette to depict poverty and human misery. Sadness is almost tangible when looking at paintings such as La Vie, Femme à la chemise or Acrobate et jeune arlequin.
The pink period that follows those years of depression, strikes by its contrasts, using warm colours ranging from different pinks to multiple shades of orange. After meeting Fernande Olivier, his first companion, Picasso explores more joyful themes, wanting to show the different tonalities that can be found on the human flesh. The arlequin character is also very present, showing how much Picasso liked acrobats.
Going to the Fondation Beyeler is also an opportunity to be wowed by the building itself created by the architect Renzo Piano. The museum is surrounded by a garden, mixing with elegance and harmony glass doors and vegetation.
A few facts and figures you did not know about Picasso:
163: the heigh in cm of the artist
20: the number of words needed to make his name complete (Pablo Diego José de Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso)
1: the number of mouse Picasso had as a pet in his workshop in the Bateau-Lavoir
43,000: the number of works he has created
179,400,000: the price in USD of the painting Les Femmes d’Alger, sold in 2015
The young Picasso – Blue and rose periods
Baselstrasse 101, 4125 Basel
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10am-6pm; wed: 10am-6pm