Pablo Picasso wanted to have a collection of his works displayed in his hometown. His wishes were honored with the creation of the Picasso Museum of Málaga, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the directors have organized a program of activities for 2013 that includes several interesting exhibitions.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Málaga, 1881-1973) was 10 years old when his father got a job as professor in La Coruña, in the northern extreme of the Iberian Peninsula. The family lived in the Galician city until 1895, when his father was summoned to Barcelona for a professional appointment.
Pablo began his studies at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts at the age of 14, although he had been painting under his father, who was an art teacher, since he was seven years old. Picasso only returned to Málaga once on holiday, during the summer of 1897.
An 1953 agreement, between the artist and Juan Temboury Álvarez, provincial delegate of Fine Arts of the Andalusian city, set in motion the idea of the construction of a museum to house Picasso’s work. However, the negotiations were cancelled shortly after.
The widow of Picasso’s eldest son, Paul Ruiz-Picasso, picked up the idea on the occasion of the exhibitions: Picasso Clásico in 1992, and Picasso, Primera Mirada (Picasso, First Look) in 1994. In 1996 negotiations to establish the museum resumed, and it was inaugurated in 2003.
The Buenavista Palace has housed the collection for the last 10 years. Located in the historic city center, a few steps from the cathedral, and surrounded by shops, traditional restaurants and terraces, the building embodies the typical style of Andalusia. Built in the 16th century, it combines details of Renaissance architecture with Moorish influences. Underneath the structure, Phoenician, Roman and Arab remains were found, and parts of this Renaissance palace have been archeologically preserved.
The collection consists of 233 works by the artist, plus 43 other pieces that are part of a 15-year agreement with the Fundación Almine and Bernad Ruiz-Picasso for the Arts (FABA). The pieces on view encompass every stage of the artist’s life, although the absence of his better-known works is noticeable. There is, though, an impressive collection of sketches, lithographs and charcoal drawings on paper, plus some paintings, sculptures, documents and photographs.
Interestingly, the greatest attraction of the Picasso Museum of Málaga could be its temporary exhibitions. Picasso was a very prolific artist. In fact, from time to time, we still get news of new discoveries of his works. Practically every important museum and private collectors owns works by Picasso, which fosters collaborations, loans of master works, and touring exhibitions.
Throughout 2013, the Málaga Museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary with exhibitions dedicated to the great legacy of the hometown hero. The first on the list: Picasso de Málaga. Obra de la primera época, (Picasso of Málaga. Early Works) features 55 works by Picasso, 65 from other artists, and 95 documents. The exhibition depicts the early years of the artist’s production, and will be on view from February 25 until June 9. A prominent selection of works from the artist’s childhood and youth, including photographs, cartographic maps, objects and documentary material, as well as later pieces “will make the visitor reflect on the indelible imprint that Málaga and its people left in Picasso´s memory”, says the museum website.
The second major exhibition, scheduled for June 24, will be available to the public until October 6. It contains 40 works. Album de Familia (Family Album) will bring together a group of familiar characters to illustrate the importance of family in the creative spirit of the artist. The show will focus on the influence of photography on the artist, and his ability to synthesize by using the minimum number of strokes. It will also present a reflection on Cubism.
The third exhibition, Once obras invitadas (Eleven Invited Works), will show Picasso’s works in relation to a selection of pieces from other artists. The museum has not yet announced the names of the guest artists or the titles of their works, but it has been confirmed that they will include: “pieces from the permanent collection of the Museum—depicting issues such as maternity, child portraits, cubist still lifes, bullfighting, and decorative pieces —alongside works from invited artists for whom the painter showed respect and interest.”
With this exhibition, the Picasso Museum of Málaga will close its 10th anniversary celebrations and will begin the next season. The exhibit will be open between October 27, 2013 and February of 2014. ■