It’s no coincidence that the most famous artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, was also its most photographed. The Spaniard himself used the medium extensively. You could say that, after painting and his many mistresses, it was a great passion of his. The Cubist took an enormous amount of photos, not only to create studies for artworks in other media, but also to court celebrity and document his colorful life and career.
This intricate relationship with the camera is the focus of a revealing retrospective at the redesigned Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street, in partnership with his grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, who only began exhibiting his collection of original Picassos (the largest in the world) in 2000. The show includes some 200 never-before-seen photographs taken by the artist, as well as related sculptures, paintings, drawings, and films spanning his sixty years of production. In addition, curator John Richardson — nonagenarian Picasso biographer and close friend of the family — was brought on board.
Films also played a central role in Picasso’s life. He filmed home movies of his family and friends, and worked with celebrated filmmakers Luciano Emmer and Henri-Georges Clouzot to capture his artistic process, as well as Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, and Lee Miller. The resulting body of photographs and films have left a legacy far richer than most dearly departed artists of the last century — exactly as Picasso intended.
Picasso and the Camera, October 28, 2014 – January 3, 2015, Gagosian Gallery, 522 W. 21st Street, NYC