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ART SEEN - Picasso's hommage to Jacqueline

Mid Morning Mix // Art & Culture // Oct. 11, 2016

PICASSO - L'Oeuvre ultime (Hommage to Jacqueline)

ART SEEN - Picasso's hommage to Jacqueline

The wonderful exhibition covers a vast collection of more than 100 major works of the iconic Spanish painter, all from his late years, spent with his last wife Jacqueline. Dark haired Jacqueline Roque, 45 years younger than the ageing, already famous master, becomes the source of unending inspiration and fascination.

Swiss Artist and resident reviewer, Uli Van Neyghem visited the exhibition last week and reports in with Katt Cullen on the Mid Morning Mix

When Picasso met Jacqueline in 1952, he was 72 years old and in a relationship with his earlier muse Françoise Gilot, with whom he has two children. He was also still married to his first wife Olga (the marriage was never dissolved due to financial reasons). In 1961, after the death of Olga, Picasso makes Jacqueline his wife, a marriage that lasts until his death at the age of 91. More than 10 years later, still racked with grief, Jacqueline commited suicide.

Art historian Barbara Rose once described their relationship as follows: "She thought he was God and he thought he was God. The two of them were in love with him."

During their long relationship she becomes model, muse and most important person in Picasso's life, shielding him from the outside world and even his children to give him the freedom and privacy to concentrate on nothing but his art, making this last period in his career the most productive.

Jacqueline appears in the majority of the paintings from this era: moved by her classical profile, almond-shaped eyes and exotic features, Picasso casts her in his reworkings of French and Spanish masters like Manet, Delacroix, Matisse or Velasquez. He depicted her in everyday situations, like reading a book or sitting in a rocking chair. Her features and forms appear in sculptures and pottery, as well as etchings and linogravure.

An especially fascinating series of paintings highlights the inter-dependant relationship between artist and model, first separated by easel and canvas, in another the canvas becoming only a thin abstract line, later melting into each other, until in one painting the muse is leading the brush.

Picasso once said that for him, sexuality and art were the same thing and it becomes evident in the domineering audacity (Picasso was undoubtably one of the greatest machos ever) and gloating pride demonstrated in his paintings of his young wife.

The exhibition is rounded up by a series of photographs showing the master and his muse, taken by famous artists of this medium (Duncan, Bresson, Clergue), as well as photographs of Jacqueline Picasso herself, providing intimate glimpses into their life together.

By Uli Van Neyghem

Where:                                  Fondation Gianadda
                                              Martigny, CH                      
                                              (well indicated from motorway or train station)

When:                                    Now - until November 20, 2016

Opening Times:                     Every day from 9:00-19:00

Entry fees:                              Adults     CHF 20
                                               Seniors   CHF 18
                                               Students CHF 12
                                               Families  CHF 42

Uli's Hot Tip:

For lunch or dinner after the exhibition, leave your car at the parking and head for the centre of Martigny. On Place Centrale (less than 10 minutes of walk) you have a choice of nice restaurants. Our choice fell on La Vache Qui Vole

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