I spent a lovely couple of hours yesterday (8th June) at The Tate Liverpool’s new exhibition of works by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. Now anybody who knows me will tell you that what I know about art you can write on a postage stamp and modern art is just a complete mystery to me and don’t get me started on Picasso’s ‘three headed women’ just what is that ALL ABOUT? Eyes and mouths just everywhere!! (Laugh out loud)
One of my favourite quotes from Picasso goes like this……he was painting a portrait of some posh lady and half way through it the lady took a peek at the painting and aghast she said “but it looks nothing like me” Picasso firmly replied…”Madam, given time you will look like IT” and I think that sums Picasso up. He was a rare individual in art in that he managed to change the human condition, the way we think about the world. Picasso opened the doors and windows and things would never be the same again. I don’t think has influence can be overstated…..we now live in a Picasso universe.
Now I’m not going to give you an art history lesson but Picasso is a towering figure and to have this exhibition in Liverpool is a real treat……over 150 works focused on Picasso as a politically and socially engaged artist. We all know Picasso was a womaniser, playboy, celebrity and a bit of a wacko……but we don’t often hear about him being actively involved in politics and the Peace Movement. In 1944 Picasso joined the French Communist Party and remained a member until his death in 1973. His work during this period spoke of human conflict and war but also expressed a deep desire for peace, international understanding and equality. PEACE & FREEDOM chronicles this aspect of his work and at the core of the exhibition is Picasso’s ‘Dove of Peace’ which became the international emblem of the Peace Movement.
It takes Picasso’s work from a completely different angle and we begin to see the artist in a different light……..It’s well worth a visit but on the down side I think the entrance fee of £10 is a bit extortionate and some of the prices being charged for exhibition merchandise is to my mind in total contradiction to the exhibition’s socialist theme……you have to have a few bob before you can even step inside a Tate exhibition these days 🙂
The Picasso PEACE & FREEDOM Exhibition is on at The Tate Liverpool until 30th August 2010