Picasso & the Camera - Curated by John Richardson

PABLO PICASSO © David Douglas Duncan, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Austin

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Opening reception: Tuesday, October 28th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm

Gagosian Gallery, in partnership with Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, is pleased to present “Picasso and the Camera,” the fifth in a series of major Picasso surveys, following “Mosqueteros” (2009), “Picasso: The Mediterranean Years (1945–1962)” (2010), “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou” (2011), and “Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris 1943–1953” (2012). Curated by Picasso biographer John Richardson, assisted by Gagosian directors Valentina Castellani and Michael Cary, the exhibition explores how Picasso used photography not only as a source of inspiration, but as an integral part of his studio practice. Spanning sixty years, this show, which includes many photographs taken by Picasso but never before seen or published, as well as related paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and films, will provide an unprecedented survey of his unique relationship with the camera. David Korins, acclaimed scenic and production designer for stage and screen, has transformed the 21st Street gallery with an innovative exhibition design that seamlessly incorporates the vast array of archival materials with Picasso's own works in a variety of media.

The most famous visual artist of the 20th century, Picasso was also the most photographed. His striking features became an icon of his own time, recognized the world over. Yet this phenomenon was not a mere by-product of celebrity; his own practice set the precedent. Picasso engaged with photography and photographers in myriad ways, starting from his early days in Paris and continuing through the last years of his life. He used the camera to capture life in the studio and at home, to try out new ideas, to study his works and document their creation, and to shape his own image as an artist at work. He collaborated with Brassaï, his celebrated mistress Dora Maar and Andre Villers to create wholly original works, filmed home movies of his family and friends, and worked with filmmakers such as Luciano Emmer and Henri-Georges Clouzot to capture his creative process. His life and work were documented by photographers as diverse as Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, Lee Miller, Edward Quinn, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Lucien Clergue, Michel Sima, and Arnold Newman. The resulting body of photographs and films, filled with fact, invention and myth, is vital to an understanding of Picasso’s achievements across his entire artistic output. As Picasso said to one of his favorite photographers Brassaï, “...I want to leave as complete a record as possible for posterity.”

“Picasso and the Camera” is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with new essays by Mary Ann Caws, Victoria Combalía, Marvin Heiferman, and John Richardson, as well as key texts by Jacques Prévert, Man Ray, and Paul Hayes Tucker.

Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain in 1881 and died in France in 1973. Recent exhibitions of his work include “Picasso: Tradition and the Avant-Garde,” Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2006); "Picasso and American Art," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006, traveled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, through 2007); “Picasso et les Maîtres,” Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (2008–09); “Picasso: Challenging the Past,” National Gallery, London (2009); “Picasso at the Metropolitan Museum,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010); and “Picasso: Black and White,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2012–13).

John Patrick Richardson, British art historian and Picasso biographer, was born in London in 1924. From 1951–62 he lived in Provence, France, and became a close friend of Picasso and his family. Richardson’s three-volume A Life of Picasso was the result of this friendship. He is currently working on the biography’s fourth volume. In connection with this, Richardson has organized five major exhibitions of Picasso’s work at Gagosian Gallery. He has been a contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Burlington Magazine, and Vanity Fair, and is the author of The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper (1999); and Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters (2001), a collection of essays. In 1993, Richardson was elected to the British Academy. He was appointed Slade Professor of Art at Oxford in 1995. In 2011, Richardson was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his contributions to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to art.

For further information please contact the gallery at [email protected] or at +1.212.741.1717. All images are subject to copyright. Gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction.

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•Gallery admission is free.
•Gallery is located on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible.
•The gallery does not provide wheelchairs.
•Please be advised—there are no public restrooms in the gallery.


Please help us protect the works on view by following the rules listed below:
•No food or drink
•No smoking
•No photography
•No filming
•No groups larger than 6
•No pets
•No horseplay; running, throwing, yelling, touching
•Children must be accompanied by an adult
•Please maintain a safe distance from the artwork

•Groups larger than 6 must have a reservation for admittance
•Please email [email protected]

•Edison ParkFast: 10th Avenue between 19th & 20th Streets
•Edison Parking: 22nd Street between 10th & 11th Avenues

•A train stops at 14th Street and 8th Avenue
•C & E trains stop at 23rd Street and 8th Avenue
•1 train stops at 23rd and 7th Avenue and 18th and 7th Avenue

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Gagosian Gallery was established in 1980 by Larry Gagosian.