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...the reality of the 20th century is not the reality of the 19th century, not at all and Picasso was the only one in painting who felt it, the only one.

- writer Gertrude Stein

With a career spanning seven decades of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was an integral part of the birth and development of modern art. Ceaselessly innovative and prolific, he embodies the creative spirit of the modern age, yet for all his modernity he was deeply connected with the art of the past. Although he was a pioneer of abstraction, he never abandoned the figure; although he experimented with new media, he remained a master of traditional oil painting and bronze sculpture. His work lays bare his personal passions, desires and fears, as well as the anxieties of his time, the horrors of war, and the fragility and resilience of human life.

Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, this exhibition shows a rare perspective on the life and work of this iconic yet still surprising artist.

The exhibition room by room

Pablo Picasso Homme au chapeau de paille et au cornet de glace (Man with a straw hat and ice-cream cone) 1938, oil on canvas, 61 × 46 cm, Pablo Picasso Bequest, 1979, MP174 © Succession Picasso, 2011/licensed by Viscopy, 2011 © Paris, Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Jean-Gilles Berizzi © Musée National Picasso, Paris

12 Nov 2011 – 25 Mar 2012

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