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Picasso on show in new portrait exhibition

Press AssociationPress Association 21/04/2016 Lorna Cooper

The National Portrait Gallery in London is to stage a major exhibition of portraits by Pablo Picasso.

Picasso Portraits, in association with Barcelona's Museu Picasso, will include more than 75 portraits by the artist, ranging from well-known masterpieces to works that have never been shown in Britain before.

Picasso's Cubist portrait from 1910 of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, the German art dealer and early champion of his work, is among the portraits receiving a first showing in London.

It has been loaned by the Art Institute of Chicago.

From a private collection, there will also be the 1938 portrait of Nusch Eluard, acrobat, artist and wife of the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard.

Picasso Portraits 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.

The exhibition includes a group of self-portraits as well as portraits and caricatures of Picasso's friends, lovers, wives and children.

Complementing these images are portraits and caricatures inspired by artists such as Velazquez and Rembrandt, with whom Picasso closely identified.

All phases of Picasso's career will be represented, from the Realist portraits of his boyhood to the more gestural canvases of his old age.

Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, the Spanish painter, sculptor, poet and playwright was born in 1881.

He spent most of his adult life in France, dying in Mougins in 1973.

The National Portrait Gallery's director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, hailed Picasso's "extraordinary range of styles".

"We are delighted to stage Picasso Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, a collaboration with Museu Picasso, Barcelona, which focuses on the artist's reinvention of time-honoured conventions of portraiture, and his genius for caricature," he said.

"The exhibition gathers together major loans from public and private collections that demonstrate the breadth of Picasso's oeuvre and the extraordinary range of styles he employed across all media and from all periods of his career."

Museu Picasso director Bernardo Laniado-Romero said: "The two organising museums, one dedicated to portraiture and the other to Picasso, are the natural instruments to bring forth a re-assessment on how Picasso, time and time again, redefined portraiture throughout the 20th century.

"The exhibition will surprise and confront one's preconceived ideas of what a portrait should be and how a portrait by Picasso ought to look."

The support of the sponsor of Picasso Portraits will see the first 100 tickets priced at 5p ($A1.00) every Friday morning throughout the October 6 to February 5 2017 run.

PA aab

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