It’s been a long time since the Little Art Seeker didn’t give any news from Paris.We missed you!So,as the weather is really rainy in Paris we longed for colors and beautiful paintings to enlighten our long winter days.
We visited for you the delightful exhibition dedicated to one of the great masters of the 20th century :Pablo Picasso in the lovely Picasso museum amid the poetic streets of the Marais district!
By the way before visiting the exhibition we made a stop in front of the pastry display case from Mert. It’s just two blocks from the museum and the pastries are just delicious.
After having celebrated the figure of Olga through an exhibition called « Olga Picasso »,the Picasso museum now dedicates a new exhibition to the young and beautiful Marie-Thérèse Walter who was Picasso’s mistress at the beginning of the 1930’s.
The exhibition is entitled »Picasso,1932,erotic year ».and is organised in partnership with the Tate modern in London.It’s originality is to provide us a true insight into Picasso’s production during the year 1932.During this year,Picasso who is truly in love with his young mistress will create many masterpieces ,inspired by his passion for Marie -Thérèse.
The museum had a really awesome approach of a very special moment in the great artist’s life and focuses upon the year 1932,which was very important in the agenda of the Spanish master.
1932,is a specific year for the artist ,who is almost 50 and receives all the honors ;the first retrospective of his work is organised in Paris and is repeated in Zurich.
At the beginnning of the exhibition,beautiful pictures realized by Brassaï evoke the two places where the artist used to create :Paris and his studio rue de la Boétie and his château de Boisgeloup ,in Normandy.
Some photographies show us the characters who were important in his life that very year:Merchants as Daniel -Henry Kahnweiler and Paul Rosenberg,but also his son Paul and his wife Olga ,and finally his mistress ,the incandescent blonde Marie-Thérèse Walter.
Picasso and Marie-Thérèse
On 8 January 1927,Picasso passes in front of the big department store « les Galeries Lafayette »before returning home rue de la Boétie.
At this moment ,Marie-Thérèse whose mother is a milliner and works just nearby,crosses his path.Picasso is dazzled by her beauty and presenting himself would have said »Miss,you have an interesting face,I would like to make your portrait! »
Marie-Thérèse is an athletic woman and resembles the broad shoulders women with well shaped thighs ,he had painted in a scuptural way in the previous years..Her beauty is for him something familiar and this odd meeting will have incredible consequences in the painter’s work.
If 1932,is an erotic year it’s also a complicated one for the artist who is still married with Olga.The artist has two models;the previous and the new one .The exhibition alternates the two stories,the biographic and the artistic.
It follows the calendar ,366 days:1932 being a bissextil year ,focusing upon the lives of the three protagonists and their relatives,but also their art dealers,hoteliers and suppliers.
Picasso ,used to keep everything and kept all his bills,newspaper clippings,telegrams and correspondence and it’s really funny to see many of them in the cases between paintings,drawings and engravings.His life appears in front of us in its slightest details!
The exhibition follows month after month,almost day after day ,his production of 1932 and from the beginning the beautiful,round face of Marie-Thérèse,her almond eyes and her tomboy hairdressing are in all his masterpieces of this prolific year.
Enamoured with his model ,Picasso realized a prolific series featuring her face and her profile and represented the feminity in a sensual way ,enhancing the curves and the beauty of his model.
The little Art seeker loved « the reading »,the woman depicted here is seated in an armchair with a book on her lap ,her beautiful face and the sensuality of her curves represented in an abstract way .The heart-shape face woman is the result of Synthetic cubist production,but the most interesting is the new use of the colour ,inspired by Matisse ,Picasso uses red and green in a dynamic way and plays on the use of vertical green and yellow, stripes to hold the flowing lines of the female shape in place.Marie-Thérèse appears as a muse whose sensuality will embark the painter in an endless voyage with his sweetheart.
Of the painting, »the reading », and » Picasso », Philip Hook from Sotheby’s said in the early 1930s he was very lyrically in love and reflected this in the lovely colors and lovely compositions.
The most striking of this month of January is « the dream ».it is said to have been painted in one afternoon ,on 24 January 1932.Picasso is then 50 years old and his young mistress 22.Picasso experiments a period of distorted depictions with oversimplified outlines and loud colors resembling early fauvism.
Marie-Thérèse is asleep in a red armchair ,her head bending over her shoulder and the erotic content of the painting comes from her left cheek in a phallus shape,represented in the upturned face of the model.
Erotism,dreams in a surrealist way come to sublimate the figure of the loved one ,associated with explicit sexual symbols .Picasso gives her life through paintings and also sculpture and revisit the classical themes of the sleeping woman in an armchair.
You will recognize ,the characteristic features of Marie-Thérèse ,which haunt Picasso in a series of masterpieces:in a yellow armchair,in a black armchair,the head resting on her arms,or in still lifes where he plays on the forms ,on the lines ,and deconstruct the volumes.
During the summer 1932,Marie-Thérèse sends letters to his lover.They love each other secretly and she sends him pictures where she poses at the seaside and where she gives him details of her days and her swimming in Juan les Pins.If Olga had watched her husband’s works closely ,she would have guessed that something was new in his way of painting and drawing.
This new way of expression it’s a Marie Thérèse’s language that Picasso invents in 1927 and which in 1932 is revealed through visual poems in honour of the young woman.
Marie-Thérèse’s body has the marble like look of the antique statues .Picasso who had previously been inspired by Cézanne’s great bathers will start working again around the bathers’ theme ,with an obvious blink to the Orientalists and the classical theme of the Odalisks illustrated by Ingres
.His relationship with the excellent swimmer,Marie-Thérèse and the body exposure at the seashore nourrish the theme of the bathers and in his creations realized in his property of Boisgeloup,nearby Paris ,Picasso renews this subject fuelled by antiquity but also inovates in the treatment of the feminine body through sculpture.Under the luminous intensity of the sun ,the body of the woman is reduced to a simple line network or to a twirl of forms.
The picture » the rescue » is particularly interesting because of its story.IThe scene depicts the acrobatics of beach activity while the languid body of a bather is hoisted from the water.All of the figures bear the features of Marie Thérèse as she had come in his legendary compositions from,earlier in the year.In this work,Marie Thérèse is omnipresent :she occupies land,sea and air and plays both victim and savior in Picasso’s painting.
When Picasso established his new sculpture studio in Boisgeloup ,65 km(40 miles)north from Paris,he began to produce a series of sculpture many of monumental proportions.His interest for sculpture also appears in a number of drawings ,etchings and paintings he produced based upon the theme of the sculptor in his studio.
In his work, the sculptor,he has represented himself in a studio setting ,contemplating his own work.Two sculptures are inserted into the composition;a large bust of a woman and in the background a nude figure with rounded forms .The sculptor is lost in a sensual rêverie.
In that year when he had just turned 50,Picasso had his first major retrospective looking back over his career held in Paris and in Zurich.He was at the time, the leader of the vant-garde ,at the forefront of the art progresive movement.
In the last months of the year,Picasso works also around mythology and his flute player ,who plays for a sleeping beauty ,may be one of the artist’s representation.
October ,gives us a beautiful portrait of Marie-Thérèse seated next to a window and in the last painting of the year « ,reclining woman with a blonde curl ».Marie Thérèse is still sleeping.Her curves are designed in a soft line upon a canvas were different colors simply juxtapose.
The little Art Seeker ,really loved this poetic exhibition,dedicated to one of the woman who inspired Picasso during an incredibly creative year 1932.Marie-Thérèse Walter remains in his huge production the synonym of a sensual beauty and an endless source of inspiration for this incredible creator.She ended tragically in 1977,commiting suicide because life without the man who had highlighted her beauty for years,was meaningless.
So if you have a few hours to visit museums in Paris,run to see this moving and poetic exhibition.The Little Art Seeker warmly recommends it!!!