Galerie de l’Institut Presents Milestones in Picasso’s Sculpture

Standing women known as Femmes de Boisgeloup, 1930, bronze, various sizes © Succession Picasso 2022

From October 14th – December 17th 2022, Galerie de l’Institut of Paris presents, in its two spaces on Rue de Seine and Rue des Beaux-Arts, an exhibition-event on Pablo Picasso’s sculpture, bringing together some of the most important milestones of Picasso’s work in three dimensions.

More than 70 sculptures dating from 1902 to 1962, accompanied by 35 drawings and paintings, will be brought together for the first time in a Paris gallery. Some of them will be on sale on this occasion.

The exhibition, Picasso / Sculptures 1902-1962, will be divided into two main themes – “The Figure” (Rue des Beaux-Arts) and “The Bestiary” (Rue de Seine), covering the diversity of the artist’s activity. Among the exceptional works, the public will be able to discover the first cubist sculpture in the artist’s corpus, A Woman’s Head (Fernande), as well as two masterful cut, folded and painted sheet metal heads from 1961; the latter two masterpieces are on exceptional loan.

In each of the two exhibition spaces (just a few meters apart), the sculptures are accompanied by a selection of paintings and works on paper, highlighting the dialogue and complementarity between the different media used by Picasso. The works on paper include study and research drawings, which give “the movement of his thought”; stand-alone drawings show the recurrence of a theme; cardboard and paper cutouts form the models for the cut, folded and painted sheets.

The Figure

In The Figure, the exhibition brings together major works of sculpture by Picasso, three of which date from the turn of the century. The selection includes Head of a Woman (Alice Derain) from 1905, in which the unelaborate facial features seem almost loose. This work echoes both the unfinished treatment of Rodin’s sculpture and Medardo Rosso’s “fuzzy” work (Ecce Puer, bronze, 1905).

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Picasso in front of Head of a Woman (Dora Maar) of 1941, at La Californie in Cannes – © Coll. Jacqueline Picasso / ADAGP, Paris 2022 / Succession Picasso 2022

Woman Styling Her Hair, one of the first primitivist sculptures that Picasso executed in the fall of 1906 upon his return from Gosol in Catalonia, where he had spent the summer, coincided with his discovery of Iberian art and Gauguin’s retrospective at the 1906 Salon d’Automne. This is evident from the drawing entitled La Coiffure from the same period. Head of a Woman (Fernande) of 1909 occupies a focal place in Picasso’s oeuvre on more than one level. It is the first Cubist sculpture to deconstruct faceted volume in three dimensions. It illustrates the complementarity and dialogue between painting and sculpture in his practice.

Also on view is a series of hieratic, tapering figures known as “Boisgeloup Women,” executed in the fall of 1930, which show similarities to African and Etruscan art. They also evoke the Boisgeloup period from a lesser-known perspective.

Head of a Woman (Dora Maar) of 1941, an example of his monumental production, marks Picasso’s return to large-scale sculpture in the Rue des Grands-Augustins studio, the birthplace of Guernica in 1937.

The Bestiary

In the second part of the exhibition, focused on animals, familiar animals are joined by a mythological bestiary, to which belongs the minotaur, an essential figure in Picasso’s iconography of his maturity. Among the most representative works of the group presented in rue de Seine, the extraordinary Guenon et Son Petit, made in 1951, is an emblematic work of Picasso’s use of objects from his surroundings as components of his sculpture.

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Head of Woman, Cannes 1961, cut sheet metal, folded and painted, 79.5 x 63 x 31.5 cm; Bearded Man’s Head, Cannes 1961, cut, folded and painted sheet metal, 80 x 66 x 30 cm © Succession Picasso 2022

Picasso’s sculptural oeuvre is extremely rich and includes more than 650 sculptures executed between 1902 and the early 1960s, with more intense periods than others, notably the late 1920s and early next decade, corresponding to the Boisgeloup period; or the late 1940s, in the Fournas atelier in Vallauris, another a very intense period. His practice of sculpture was intimately linked to that of painting, with which Picasso maintained a fruitful dialogue. In sculpture he often concentrated on the same subjects he painted: figures, portraits of relatives, real or mythological animals, still lifes

Galerie de l’Institut, formerly the Bouquinerie de l’Institut, is a family reality run by Marc Lebouc, an expert of the Paris Court of Appeals, Anne-Gaëlle Lebouc and Yves Lebouc, an expert of the Compagnie Nationale des Experts. It offers a wide selection of works by 20th-century artists, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró and Henri Matisse. Specializing in prints since 1954, Galerie de l’Institut offers engravings (etchings, aquatints, monotypes, manière noire, etc.), high-quality modern lithographs, as well as illustrated books.

Picasso / Sculptures 1902-1962
October 14th – December 17th 2022
12 rue de seine / 3Bis rue des Beaux-Arts 75006, Paris

See also: London Art Week Summer Reports Healthy Sales

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