Picasso exhibit coming to Duke's Nasher museum

Posted July 15, 2009 4:48 p.m. EDT

— Pablo Picasso’s lifelong relationship with writers and the ways language affected his work is the focus of an exhibition coming to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

“Picasso and the Allure of Language” includes 60 works created by Picasso between 1900 and 1969, four years before his death at age 91. The Nasher Museum is the only traveling venue for the exhibition, which will be on view at the museum on Duke’s campus from Aug. 20 through Jan 3.

The exhibition focuses on Picasso’s life after moving from his native Spain to the bohemian Montmartre section of Paris in 1904. There, he formed friendships with important French writers and poets. In 1905, Picasso met Gertrude Stein, the expatriate American writer who became his principal patron until 1914.

The exhibition also includes works by fellow artist Georges Braque and photographs, letters, manuscripts and book projects by a diverse group of artists and writers. The exhibition will be complemented by “Africa and Picasso,” a small exhibition inspired
by Picasso’s own collection of African art.

“We can learn a lot from the intellectual and artistic exchanges between Picasso and some of the greatest thinkers of his day,” Kimerly Rorschach, the James H. and Mary D.B.T. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum, said in a statement.

The museum will hold a free family day event, poetry night, panel discussions, film series, teacher workshops and other programs in conjunction with the exhibit. The Carolina Ballet also will present a newly choreographed ballet, “Picasso,” inspired by the exhibition.

The exhibition is drawn from the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection in Dallas.