Young Picasso’s life explored in film

A photograph of young Picasso
Pablo Picasso (1881 1973), 1904 (b/w photo), French Photographer, (20th century) / Musee de Montmartre, Paris, France / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images

A new film that documents the early life of arguably the 20th-century’s greatest artist, Pablo Picasso, is to be shown in selected cinemas across the UK next month.

As part of the Exhibition on Screen series that explores the biographies of history’s most revered artists, Young Picasso is a detective story that pieces together the elements that drove a small boy from southern Spain to such cultural heights.

Three cities play a key role in Picasso’s story: Málaga, Barcelona and Paris, and each is explored to understand their influence on the Spanish artist’s creative evolution.

The film has been created in close collaboration with five major European museums: Museo Picasso Málaga, Fundación Picasso-Museo Casa Natal, Málaga, where he was born; Museu Picasso de Barcelona, where the most extensive collection of his early works is held; Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona and the Musée national Picasso-Paris, in the city Picasso called home.

Young Picasso aims to offer unique insights into the artist’s masterpieces at each of these institutions, as well as additional insight from historians, curators, letters from friends and lovers, and Picasso’s grandson Olivier Widmaier Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,1907,
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,1907, Oil on canvas. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange) © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The documentary, which was filmed over two years, includes two critical periods in Picasso’s life – the Blue and Rose Periods – but does not overlook the years before those which are, though much less well-known, absolutely formative.

The film culminates in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art where one of Picasso’s works has been on permanent display since the 1930s: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Painted by Picasso when he was just 25 years old the painting is now considered groundbreaking yet at the time it was scorned and rejected.

Malén Gual, Senior Curator at Museu Picasso de Barcelona commented, “This film brilliantly shows what a solid artistic training Picasso had and what remarkable paintings he produced from an early age. I have worked for decades on Picasso and I was so impressed and excited by seeing his works – and the whole thrilling story – revealed on the big screen.”

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