Pablo Picasso’s Studios opens at Fire Station

  • 1 month ago
Pablo Picasso

Special exhibition surveys eight decades of extraordinary artworks. 

Qatar Museums reopened the Fire Station: Artist in Residence yesterday and unveiled the special exhibition - Picasso’s Studios in the Garage Gallery. 
The exhibition features 108 extraordinary artworks by Pablo Picasso selected from the unparalleled collection of the Musée national Picasso in Paris, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and ceramics. 
On view through November 1, 2020, the innovative exhibition traces the evolution of Picasso’s epoch-making art by presenting it in eight distinct galleries, representing the series of studios where he worked throughout his career. 
Sheikha Reem Al Thani, Director of Exhibitions at Qatar Museums, said: “We are absolutely delighted to finally be able to share with the public this exceptional exhibition we have organized in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso in Paris. Picasso’s Studios is a celebration of a great artist’s career and gives us a unique view into his art practice. All the works at one time belonged to the artist’s personal collection, and all are grouped within the exhibition to recall the places in which they were created. It is especially appropriate that we are presenting Picasso’s Studios at the Fire Station: Artist in Residence, where outstanding contemporary Qatari artists produce and show their work in Doha today.”
Spanning eight decades, from Picasso’s arrival in Paris in 1900 to his final years on the Mediterranean in the 1970s, the exhibition is part of the 2020 Qatar-France Year of Culture, a Qatar Museums initiative dedicated to building bridges between the people and institutions of these two nations.
Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture, Qatar Museums said: “Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential artists of his generation, spent most of his adult life in France where he fell in love with the country and its riviera towns. We are pleased to bring this outstanding exhibition to Qatar as part of our Year of Culture programme, and introduce the collection of one of France’s most iconic museums to our audiences.”
Picasso’s Studios is curated by Virginie Perdrisot-Cassan, Curator of Paintings (1921-1973), Sculptures and Ceramics at the Musée national Picasso-Paris.
Organized chronologically, the exhibition focuses on the eight studios where the artist worked: 
  1. Le Bateau-Lavoir, Picasso’s bohemian workspace in the Butte Montmartre, Paris, a former piano studio converted into workshops (May 1904 – September 1909; 1912), represented in the exhibition by Sacré-Coeur (Winter 1909–1910, oil on canvas) and other works.
  2. Studio at rue Schoelcher, a bourgeois apartment in the Montparnasse district in the south of Paris (September 1913-1916), where Picasso created works such as the exhibition highlight Man at the Fireplace (1916, oil on canvas).
  3. Studio at rue La Boétie at Paris’s 23 rue de la Boétie (November 1918-1940, 1951), represented in the exhibition by the painting Studies (1920) and the charcoal drawing The Artist in Front of His Canvas (22 March 1938).
  4. The Castle at Boisgeloup in Normandy, a 17th-century mansion that the artist purchased to establish a workshop large enough for sculpture (June 1930 – autumn 1936), where Picasso created the works Woman’s Head in Profile – Marie-Thérèse (1931, bronze) and Still Life: Bust, Fruit Dish and Palette (3 March 1932, oil on canvas).
  5. The Studio at rue des Grands-Augustins (1937 – spring 1967) in Paris, where Picasso painted Guernica (1937) (which remains on permanent view at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid), as well as the Doha exhibition highlight The Kitchen (November 1948, oil on canvas).
  6. The Fournas Studio in Vallauris, Côte d’Azur in the south of France (1948-1955), where the artist created more than 4,000 pieces of ceramic ware.
  7. The much-photographed Studio of “La Californie,” Picasso’s home, studio and gallery in Cannes, Côte d’Azur (1955 – 1961), where he created The Studio of La Californie (30 March 1956, oil on canvas) and The Bay at Cannes (19 April 1958–9 June1958, oil on canvas).
  8. And Picasso’s retreat at the Vauvenargues Castle to the Mas de Notre Dame de Vie in Provence (1958-1973), built in front of Mont Ste. Victoire, famously painted by Paul Cézanne, where Picasso created the exhibition highlight Woman’s Head (late 1962, painted sheet metal).
For its quality and scope, in addition to the range of art forms it encompasses, the collection at the Musée national Picasso-Paris is the only one in the world to present Picasso's complete painted, sculpted, engraved and illustrated oeuvre, as well as a precise record through sketches, studies, drafts, notebooks, etchings, photographs, illustrated books, films and documents of the artists creative process. 
The Musée national Picasso-Paris collection was acquired by the State through an Acceptance in Lieu scheme, executed by Pablo Picasso's heirs in 1979 and then by Jacqueline Picasso's heirs in 1990.
It has been expanded over the years through outstanding acquisitions:
  • Picasso's private collection was donated to the State by his heirs in accordance with the artist's wishes. Initially, it comprised of 50 works by old and contemporary masters, which entered the collection through a donation made in 1973 and finalized in 1978. The collection was enhanced through Pablo Picasso's Acceptance in Lieu scheme of 1979.
  • Picasso's personal archives were donated by his heirs in 1978 and were pre-classified before entering the national collections through a gift in 1992 (about 200,000 pieces).
  • In 1980, with the intention to open the museum, Picasso's family and friends donated works they owned or had inherited from the artist.
  • The museum has regularly adhered to an acquisition-by-purchase policy since its creation in 1985. 
  • The Picasso’s museum collection has altogether, a total of  4,755 of Picasso's artworks including 4,090 graphic artworks, 297 paintings, 368 sculptures.
Picasso's private collection incorporates 46 paintings, 20 sculptures and 64 graphic artworks. Over 200,000 archive documents. The museum library: 11,000 books and over 8,000 documentary files.