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The Picasso Century

  • Art, Paintings
  1. A Picasso sculpture of a distorted figure stands in the foreground of the gallery, several paintings are hung in the background
    Photograph: NGV
  2. A Picasso nude of a reclining woman
    Photograph: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Bertrand Prévost/Dist. RMN-GPPablo Picasso Reclining woman 1932. Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de creation industrielle. Donated by Louise and Michel Leiris, 1984. © Succession Picasso/Copyright Agency, 2022
  3. Several visitors observe paintings hung in a large, cream-tinged gallery
    Photograph: NGV
  4. A black and white depiction of Guernica dominates a dark room in the gallery
    Photograph: NGV
  5. A woman looks at a painting in a huge, yellow-tinged gallery room lined with paintings
    Photograph: NGV

Time Out says

See more than 80 works by Pablo Picasso and more than 100 works of his contemporaries

The most influential painter of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso changed art forever. His works are among the most famous in existence, hanging on gallery walls and in private collections the world over, as well as being instantly recognisable to millions both in and outside of the fine arts.

The NGV has assembled more than 80 of Picasso's works to Melbourne, organised into 12 thematic sections – and yes, Cubism is more than ably represented – along with an exciting Friday night music program.

An artist doesn't exist in a vacuum, and Picasso learned from and influenced countless numbers of his contemporaries. The works of more than 60 of them are also included in the exhibition, carefully and thoughtfully curated by scholar of 20th-century painting Didier Ottinger, deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Artists included in the exhibition include underrated names such as Natalia Goncharova, Julio González, Wifredo Lam, Suzanne Valadon and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, as well as more familiar names like Braque, Dalì and Giacometti.  

"This exhibition offers visitors an extraordinary insight into the development of modern art and the preeminent figure at its centre, Pablo Picasso," says NGV director Tony Ellwood. "Through more than 170 works of art – including many that have never been seen in Australia – audiences will come to appreciate the many ways in which Picasso influenced – and was influenced by – the artistic community that surrounded him."

To celebrate, NGV Friday Nights has returned with after-hours access to the exhibition and a line-up of live performances, bespoke bars, and Spanish-inspired dining. The concert series kicks off with Ngaiire and Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, with doors opening at 6pm. Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros’s Bar Lourinhã will take over the NGV’s Garden Restaurant for a celebration of Spanish culture and dining on Friday evenings from 6pm and daily for lunch service throughout the exhibition’s run.  

Find out more and book tickets to The Picasso Century and NGV Friday Nights. The NGV has also created a series of relaxed sessions for visitors who would benefit from a quieter gallery experience, outside of regular opening hours, with fewer people and reduced sensory stimuli. Check out those sessions available here.

Cassidy Knowlton
Written by
Cassidy Knowlton


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