Pablo Picasso


September 28 - October 22


The price of admission: 300 rubles.

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Altmans Gallery Moscow presents an exhibition of works by Spanish master Pablo Picasso, particularly featuring etchings from Picasso's "Lysistrata" cycle, dedicated to a racy Ancient Greek comedy. Exploring passion as a dominant force behind Picasso's work, the exhibition presents an introspection of an artist obsessed with women and bullfighting.

Picasso developed his passion for bullfights as a boy growing up in the city of Malaga, where his father introduced the sport to him.

The young artist was captivated by the spectacle of man versus beast, the feeling that life can end at any moment, the bravery of the bullfighter, and the culmination of the life of a wild animal.

Blood, always spilled at a bullfight, serves as a dual motif in Picasso's works. It symbolizes life and death, as well as lust or the unfulfillment thereof (for example, a 1917 portrait of Picasso's first wife, ballerina Olga Khokhlova, depicted as a cold beauty).

Wine, another motif, forms a link between bullfights and women. Wine heats up the blood. It is presented to honor a winner. It is a drink of gods and a drink of love. And, like love or lust, wine can become a painful addiction.

The haven of Picasso's passion is the relationship between a man and woman. As in a bullfight, this relationship is a confrontation of opposite forces, male and female, physical strength and vulnerability.

For Picasso, the embodiment of this passion was the Gypsy girl Carmen from the eponymous opera: a symbol of tragic love and one of the most recognizable figures in Spanish culture.

Carmen catalyzed the carnal passion that burned within Picasso throughout his life. The artist seems to view all women through her image.

Picasso's works reflect an artist moving in a pendulum motion from love to violence, from bliss to suffering.

Over time, Picasso increasingly focuses on insanity and rage, like a bullfight, a confrontation between the sexes, polar opposites. At the heart of these polarities, however, is passion. Only it remains a constant.

Picasso was fascinated by women and bullfighting, and it is hardly possible to say which of these passions dominated. After some consideration, it becomes clear that they complemented each other.

The exhibition has been made possible with support from the Cervantes Institute and in partnership with the company Millionaire International and the publication Arguments & Facts.


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