Thursday, November 03, 2011

Picasso at the Pavilion

Last Friday I ventured down to the site of last year's Expo where a Picasso exhibition has just started it's three month run housed in the impressive Shanghai Expo Chinese Pavillion.There are 48 oil paintings,seven sculptures and numerous photos of the artist according to the pre-publicity I read.The exhibition covers the major periods of his life including his Blue and Rose Periods as well as Cubism and there are works on display as examples of each period.

Curiously there's no mention of Guernica as far as I could tell which I'm sure is one of the works most people associate with Picasso.The exhibition comes via the National Picasso Museum of Paris which is undergoing renovation.

A timeline at the entrance charts his life and development as an artist.Unfortunately most of the information and Picasso quotes dotted round the walls is only in Chinese so come armed with a dictionary if you cant speak the language or even better bring a Chinese friend who can have fun trying to translate and explain what 'synthetic cubism' is.

Due to the length of his life and his output (according to Wikipedia he owned some 50,000 works at the time of his death) there's probably something on display that will appeal to everyone even if triple breasted,bug eyed,geometrically challenged,lurid coloured canvases aren't your thing.
I think my favourite painting was his homage to Manet's 'Le Dejeuner sur L'herbe.You can see a postcard of the painting above complete with two disembodied nude women and a picnic.Of the sculptures,the one that caught my eye was a hefty,bronze head of a bull.Again you can see a postcard of said bull above.

It wasn't too crowded for a late Friday afternoon and very orderly though I suggest you dress warmly as the concrete floors and walls of the Pavilion meant it was cool inside.Monday to Friday the entrance fee is a reasonable 80 rmb while weekends Saturday and Sunday admission is 120 rmb. All in all an interesting couple of hours-even if you don't like the artist it was fun to look at the reactions of the other viewers bearing in mind the last Picasso exhibition was here in the 1980's.

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