Picasso X Giacometti
Situated in the heart of the artistic Marais district in Paris, the historic Hôtel Salé building has been the home of Pablo Picasso’s work since 1985. The Museé Picasso, boasting the biggest collection of the artist’s creations worldwide, is now hosting the first exhibition documenting the parallel trajectories of Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti. Visitors will discover the profound way in which the artists influenced one another through a selection of their most famous and their less-known works.
Reuniting more than 200 artworks from the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti’s collections, as well as French and foreign collections, the exhibition unveils the deep friendship and mutual appreciation between the two artists, piece by piece. Apart from paintings, sculptures and drawings, the newly found documents, sketches, notebooks and annotations illustrate those key moments when Picasso and Giacometti’s paths crossed. Their staggering 20-year age difference did not stop them from forging a strong bond that opened up new artistic horizons for both of them.
The exhibition starts with the artworks that best showcase the development of the artists from their youth to their modernist creations, and then moves on to explore the formal and thematic similarities of their work; from the non-Western art and the surrealist movement that united them, to the period of austerity after World War II, which brought them back to basics, urging them to connect art to a 1940s somber reality.
Along with iconic works like Femme assise au fauteuil rouge and La Chèvre by Picasso, or Femme qui marche and Homme qui marche by Giacometti, viewers will find rare and fragile casts, newly discovered drawings and a number of archives unveiled for the first time. The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition brings together essays by art historians and curators, as well as an anthology of historic texts dedicated to the artists.
What’s interesting is how both Picasso and Giacometti explored the themes of life, love and death in a similar way, experimenting with the human form. Some of the exhibition’s sculptures look hauntingly alive, like Picasso’s La Femme enceinte or Giacometti’s Homme qui marche, the ‘man’ who almost prompts us to walk with him.
It is remarkable how the works of these two artists blend so smoothly together, defying an obvious generation gap. Then again, it all makes sense once you’re into their perfectly unstructured world. ■
Words by Konstantina Pyrnokoki
Photos by Aleyah Solomon