Picasso. Figures at the Frist Art Museum until May 2 – the only U.S. stop for the show – spans the artist’s entire career, with a focus on his depiction of the human figure. The 75 paintings, works on paper and sculptures from the Musée national Picasso-Paris pay particular attention to his relationships with and representations of women. Works in the exhibition show the various styles Picasso employed, including Cubism, abstract art and the use of found materials.
“Picasso is very well known for as an artist who embodies the notion of personal artistic freedom. The idea that you can express yourself in any way that you want to, in any way possible,” says Mark Scala, chief curator at the Frist Art Museum. “Picasso influenced a lot of artists in the 20th century and his influence actually carries through into the 21st century.”
The earliest work in the show is The Barefoot Girl, a small portrait of a girl in a red dress painted in 1895, when Picasso was 14. The latest piece is The Young Painter, a playful self-portrait painted in 1972, the year before Picasso’s death. In between there are examples of Cubism (the style Picasso developed with Georges Braque) such as Man with Guitar; simple wire sculpture and small treasures. Luncheon on the Grass, after Manet – a large painting near the end of Picasso. Figures – reflects his appreciation of art history and traditions as well as his embrace of the grotesque.
Meanwhile, a video in the exhibition displays the artist’s impish side as he mugs for the camera while painting various images on glass.
Timed tickets are required for this exhibition and face masks must be worn in the building. Virtual tours of Picasso. Figures are also available. More information at fristartmuseum.org/exhibition/picasso-figures/.