No 20th-century artist has greater presence in the public’s perception, enjoys greater renown, or draws more visitors worldwide to exhibitions – fascinated by his work and visions. Yet, what about Picasso’s influence on subsequent generations of artists? How do contemporary artists perceive and approach the Spanish artist? What is the significance for present-day artists of the painting »Les Demoiselles d’Avignon« (1907), which became a key work of Classical Modernism, or the mural »Guernica«, Picasso’s response to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War in 1937? Mike Bidlo or Hanne Darboven, A.R. Penck or Richard Prince follow fundamentally different artistic approaches and yet all respond with the same intensity to Picasso’s epochal work and his superiority in the world of art.
From Paul Klee to Asger Johns
Moreover, how did the Western art world view Picasso, who joined the Communist Party in 1944, as opposed to the official and subcultural opinions on him in socialist states? Against the background of cultural and social changes, what becomes tangible is the great fascination that his work currently exercises on many of the most renowned contemporary artists worldwide – encouraging both appropriation and reinterpretation, but also the challenge to overpower him.
From 17 March to 12 July, the exhibition »Picasso in contemporary art« will shed light on changes in the artistic receptionof Picasso’s work, which essentially began in 1912 with the Cubist portrait »Hommage à Picasso« by Juan Gris. The great sensuality and sheer inexhaustible power of imagination, the spectrum of Picasso’s work between abstraction and figuration, artistic creativity and political accusation challenge artists to engage in ever new exciting dialogs with the phenomenon that is Picasso.
The exhibition will mark the end of extensive modernisation works at Deichtorhallen’s Hall of Contemporary Art.
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