Nanjing welcomes “The Unknown Picasso”
Nanjing Beiqiu Contemporary Art Museum has opened its space for holding a large-scale exhibition “Beyond Genius: the Passion and Creativity of Picasso.”
This exhibition presents 172 selected artworks: 117 paintings, 46 potteries, and 9 photographs by Robert Capa about the daily life of Picasso that unveil the artist’s individuality. This exhibition offers the audience a unique opportunity to watch, feel and comprehend the artist closely, then hopefully decode the mysteries of his special art world.
This exhibition might be to some extent considered a departure from the usual division of Picasso’s career into a series of isolated, strictly defined periods, such as the Blue Period, the Rose Period, etc. Instead, it is divided into nine units, opening up different aspects of his character and peculiarities of his vision of art and creativity. In the meanwhile, those sections showcase the contradictory and opposing parts of his identity as a person, as a celebrity, and as an artist.
The urbanely raw and incomplete form of the exhibition space made the whole event look modern and homogenous to Picasso’s spirit, attracting a vast number of young spectators. Two screens in conjunction with each other were streaming shots from Picasso’s documentaries. Every section was titled with a remarkable quote of the artist as if a clue to that exact period or aspect of his life and legacy. The exhibition apparently highlighted the decorative ceramic jars and plates of Picasso, also less-known works of the master, characterized by the simplicity and dominance of linear compositions, experiments in the sphere of various techniques of graphics and pottery. The free funny stickers in Picasso-style for the visitors will certainly keep the impressions fresh and positive.
Nonetheless, there occurred an issue with the lighting, as the electric lights in that particular positions were distorting the perception of the ceramic art, leaving in the shadows the key parts of those artworks. In addition, the exhibition wall texts and descriptions, mostly in Chinese, will not be helpful for engaging foreigner-art lovers. The catalog was too humble and too common in terms of the text and design, inappropriate for that sort of exhibition, that is in fact a sensation within the frames of Jiangsu art life.