Art Institute of Chicago: “Picasso and Chicago”: Ten Reasons why I love this Exhibition!

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Temporary Exhibit :  February 20, 2013 – May 12, 2013

At Regenstein Hall [The Art Institute of Chicago]

Curator:  Stephanie D’Alessandro.

The Exhibition marks the centennial anniversary  of the Armory Show in 1913.
at the Art Institute of Chicago [AIC] which became the first American museum to exhibit works of Pablo Picasso [1881-1973]




TOP TEN REASONS why I LOVE the Exhibiton: Picasso and Chicago



The exhibition brings out…

[1] The various women is his life. Picasso’s art cannot be separated from the women in his life.

[2] The mythological beasts Picasso inserted in his art [Minotaur, Centaur and Faun].

[3] Some of his early masterpieces, which provide glimpses of his genius even as a young artist

[4] How the famous sculpture, “Head of a Woman” [Fernande Olivier] evolved from simple to complex form!

[5] Picasso’s monumental figures.

[6] “Weeping Woman” series  [ Dora Maar, who for Picasso “was always a weeping woman”]

[7] Abstraction of “The Bull”.

[8] Cubism.

[9] Ceramics.

[10] Picasso’s sketches, which can be construed as his early version of his monumental sculpture at Daley Plaza.




Head of a Woman with Straw Hat on a Pink Background [ Marie-Therese Walter / 1938

Head of a Woman with Straw Hat on a Pink Background
[ Marie-Therese Walter / 1938]


Picasso is famous [or infamous] for the many women in his life. They found a place in his canvases.  In this exhibition, we see his painting of his various muses, from one of the earliest models named Madeline to his  muse-&-second wife, Jacqueline Roque, who stood by him at the end of his life.  Their faces can be seen, throughout the exhibition,  as we pass through the various galleries exploring  the different styles and techniques Picasso mastered in his long and very productive life as an artist!

It is well known that Picasso had numerous relationships;  but seven women are identified as the most important in his life.. Fernande Olivier, Eva Gouel, Olga Koklova [first wife], Marie-Therese Walter, Dora Maar, Francoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque [second wife].  Picasso had two wives, Olga Koklova and Jacqueline Roque and four children with three women. Olga gave birth to their son Paul in 1921, Marie had a daughter Maya in 1935 and Francoise had a son Claude in 1947,  and daughter Paloma in 1949.




Combat of Centaurs - by Pablo Picasso [1959]

Combat of Centaurs – by Pablo Picasso [1959]


Picasso inserted many mythological characters in his works, like  Minotaur, Centaur and Faun. Especially since 1930s, these mythological characters can be seen in his  watercolors, lithographs or etchings.  The exhibition showcases many of the mythological beasts in Picasso’s art!

For more, click here..




The Frugal Meal /  1904

The Frugal Meal /


The exhibition has many of Picasso’s early works, especially from his Blue Period..



Head of A Woman [1909] - by Pablo Picasso

Head of A Woman [1909] – by Pablo Picasso

[IV]  HEAD OF A WOMAN  [Fernande Olivier]

How Picasso’s depiction of Fernande Olivier evolved from simple to complex form in his Head of a Woman series!




Rooster, Woman and Young Man [Mougin, 1967]

Rooster, Woman and Young Man [Mougin, 1967]




Weeping Woman I [Dora Maar / 1937]  Exhibition: Picasso and Chicago

Weeping Woman I [Dora Maar / 1937]Exhibition: Picasso and Chicago

[VI] Picasso’s  WEEPING WOMAN series

I always wanted to see anything from Picasso’s Weeping Woman series,  which have now become universal symbols of suffering.  This exhibition has four prints from the series.  The Weeping Woman series  is regarded as a thematic  continuation of the war tragedy depicted in Picasso’s epic painting Guernica.  After completion of Guernica, he kept on  exploring the subject of agonizing grief.  But  rather than depicting the Spanish Civil War,  Picasso depicts a  single woman, which makes them transcend to the level of universal symbol of suffering.



The Bull [1945/ Lithography]

The Bull [1945/ Lithography]

[VII] The Bull – Pablo Picasso

For more.. click here..







Ceramics - by Pablo Picasso

Ceramics – by Pablo Picasso




Picasso's monumental sculpture at daley Center Plaza

Picasso’s monumental sculpture at daley Center Plaza


[x] Making of Monumental Sculpture at Daley Center Plaza

I have covered this elaborately in a separate post, click here..




I always wanted to see illustrations from Picasso’s Vollard Suite! This exhibition has 22 of the 100 etchings produced between 1930 and 1937 [published 1950] , collectively known as the Vollard Suite. It is named after the publisher Ambroise Vollard. In many of these etchings, Picasso inserted himself as the mythical half-man, half-beast Minotaur .


I was struck with the intensity of some of the etchings… Like..

Coupling I [Plate 29 from the Suite Vollard

Embrace III [Plate 49 from the Suite Vollard]

Amorous Minotaur with a Female Centaur [Plate 87 from the Suite Vollard]


And then the Minataurs, with head of bull and body of man. Picasso’s inserted himself as Minaturs and rather than being aggressive, they seem blind and helpless, led by a little girl, believed to be Marie Therese, who is often seen clutching a dove or flowers.



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