DATE & TIME
Friday 11th November 2016
8:45 am at the National Portrait Gallery
9:00 am – 10:00 am guided tour
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE
Karen Levy has previously worked at Sotheby’s London Private Client Group where she was responsible for the European and Asian sectors. Prior to this, she worked at a number of other leading art institutions and auction houses and coordinated the successful “Art of the World” project at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
She now runs Art of this Century, providing bespoke experiences and special encounters in the art world. From its beginning, Karen has also actively participated in the building of her family’s private collection, DSL, which is focused on contemporary Chinese Art.
Picasso Portraits, in association with the Museu Picasso, Barcelona, will include over 75 portraits by the artist in all media, ranging from well-known masterpieces to works that have never been shown in Britain before.
The latter include the extraordinary cubist portrait from 1910 of the German art dealer and early champion of Picasso’s work, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, loaned by the Art Institute of Chicago; and from a private collection the exquisite portrait executed in 1938 of Nusch Eluard, acrobat, artist and wife of the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard.
All phases of the artist’s career will be represented, from the realist portraits of his boyhood to the more gestural canvases of his old age. It is the first large-scale exhibition devoted to his portraiture since Picasso and Portraiture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Grand Palais, Paris in 1996.
Because Picasso did not work to commission and depicted people in his intimate circle, he enjoyed exceptional freedom as a portraitist and worked in different modes as well as many different styles. Formal posed portraits coexisted with witty caricatures, classic drawings from life with expressive paintings created from memory reflecting his understanding of the sitter’s identity and character.
The exhibition includes a group of revealing self-portraits as well as portraits and caricatures of Picasso’s friends, lovers, wives and children. Guillaume Apollinaire, Carles Casagemas, Santiago Rusiñol, Jaume Sabartés, Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinsky, Fernande Olivier, Olga Picasso, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Picasso are among the people visitors will encounter. Complementing these images of Picasso’s intimates are portraits and caricatures inspired by artists of the past – Velázquez and Rembrandt among them – with whom he identified most closely.