Over 20 years ago Eugenio Carmona, a lecturer in The History of Art at Malaga university, wrote an article titled 'Picasso after Picasso', reflecting upon the artist's ability to mutate, his capacity to always be present and up to date in the fiercest debates about art, despite the years that have passed since his death. Carmona attributes this to Picasso's diversity and multiplicity, which the artist saw "not as something chaotic but as an intimate truth in the fact of creation and his own existence". He believes that was Picasso's secret: "He defined for art how to be modern and, at the same time, he laid down the basis for transformation to something else, something completely up to date. That's why Picasso lives on. He is a mirror in which contemporary art looks at itself as it searches for its own image," he says.
Visitors to the Picasso Museum in Malaga (MPM) now have the chance to discover this for themselves at the new exhibition which was due to open at the end of March but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. 'Diálogos con Picasso. Colección 2020-2023', a collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, sheds new light on the work of this Malaga-born artist.
The first room gives an introduction to the exhibition, with explanatory texts and several portraits by Picasso, and then comes the first of several surprises: a tapestry created in 1958 of 'Las señoritas de Avignon' which he had painted en 1907. The artistic director of the MPM, José Lebrero, says Picasso kept it all his life and sometimes expressed his fascination for the way in which the artisans had modified the colours and even the composition of the original canvas.
The exhibition is displayed chronologically, providing an excellent illustration of Picasso's ability to change styles and set trends throughout his life. Many of his favourite themes which often featured in his works are here, including women and the minotaur. One of the rooms covers the period from 1936 to 1948, from the start of the Spanish Civil War to after WW2 and including works associated with his famous painting 'Guernica'.
The display ends with family portraits and some of Picasso's seminal works from the 1970s, showing the creative vigour he maintained all his life, even in his eighties. An artist "in permanent mutation," as Carmona described him. "He made it clear to his friends and admirers that his talent came from his mood and his mood was indelibly indebted to his origin". That origin was Malaga. Picasso has come home.