Museo Reina Sofía to Host Major Picasso Show for 80th Anniversary of ‘Guernica’

More than 150 Picasso masterpieces from across the globe will go to Madrid.

Pablo Picasso, Guernica (1937). Courtesy Museo Reina Sofia.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s famous Guernica, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid has announced that it will be hosting a major exhibition this year highlighting the artist’s depictions of warfare and his ambivalent approach to violence and sexuality.

“Pity and Terror in Picasso: The Path to Guernica” will bring together around 150 masterpieces by the artist, some from the Reina Sofía’s own collection, and others from over 30 institutions around the world, including the Musée Picasso and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, to name but a few. There will also be a selection from private collections including that of Claude Ruiz-Picasso, the son of the artist.

“Unlike other retrospectives on the art of the Málaga-born genius, this show places the emphasis on the evolution of Picasso’s pictorial universe, with Guernica at its epicenter, from the late 1920s until the mid-1940s, a period when the artist brought about a radical change in his oeuvre,” the Museo Reina Sofía said in a statement.

“Through key works from that period, it will be possible to analyze the transformation undergone in Picasso’s art from the initial optimism of Cubism to his search in the 1930s, a period of great political tumult, for a new image of the world lying between beauty and monstrosity,” they added.

Regarded by some art critics as one of the most powerful anti-war paintings in history, the mural-sized oil painting was created in response to the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War on April 26, 1937, which was famous for the deliberate targeting of civilians by military air force. Commissioned by the Spanish Republican government for display at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris, the image shows the suffering of people and animals in a palette consisting of grey, black and white.

Pity and Terror in Picasso- The Path to Guernica” will be on view at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, from April 5 – September 4, 2017.

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