Thus began one of the best known affairs of the 20th Century. Marie-Thérèse Walter was 17, the artist 45. This dizzying passion was at the core of Picasso's annus mirabilis, Love, fame and tragedy: 1932 was an extraordinary time for the artist, and so the art world as a whole. With Walter as his muse, Picasso produced some of his most charged and erotic artwork of his career.
This pivotal year will be the subject of a brand new Tate Modern exhibition Picasso 1932: one of the most significant shows the gallery has ever staged, in the Tate's own words. "How can you get close to Picasso," asked as an artist and a person? How can you get beyond the myth?” Picasso believed that painting was just like a diary, and this uniquely personal show aligns the tribulations of his personal life to this crucial moment in his artistic practice.
More than 100 outstanding paintings, sculptures and works on paper will pay heed to Picasso's tireless powers of invention, helping to pick apart the common myths and inaccuracies that we take as writ.
This show will gather a number of paintings of Walter. The highlight, though, is surely Le Rêve (or The Dream, pictured above). The piece depicts Walter, asleep, though the serenity of the scene is punctured when you spot the erect penis that makes up her upturned face. It has never been seen in the UK.
The show will also feature realist portraits Picasso made of his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, and their 11-year-old son Paulo.
The historicist and biographical nature of this show is sure to raise a few eyebrows - both schools of thought are deeply unfashionable in the world of Art History. But this is unmissable stuff that attempts dismantle the myth around the man we think we know so well.
Booking date TBC
|What||Picasso 1932 – Picasso, Tate Modern|
Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
08 Mar 18 – 10 Sep 18, Sunday to Thursday 10.00-18.00 Friday to Saturday 10.00-22.00
|Website||Click here for more information|