Pablo Picasso. The Kitchen. Paris, November 1948
Pablo Picasso

The Kitchen

Paris, November 1948
Not on view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
69" x 8' 2 1/2" (175.3 x 250 cm)
Credit
Acquired through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest
Object number
422.1980
Copyright
© 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Picasso painted The Kitchen in November 1948, on the thirty-year anniversary of the death of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, his dear friend, and just seven days after Apollinaire's widow asked Picasso to revisit an earlier memorial project. Twenty years before, Picasso had designed the commemorative sculpture Monument to Apollinaire, but the Apollinaire Committee had deemed it too abstract to suit its purpose (a later version is on display in the Museums Sculpture Garden).

The Kitchen's wiry linearity evokes Monument to Apollinaire. Picasso used his kitchen, a large, white, empty room, as a subject in order to make a painting, he reported, "out of nothing." He created the somber, existential work at the end of a series of large-scale monochromatic paintings, including the monumental Guernica (1937), all of which depict scenes of violent turmoil. He had also recently returned from his first visit to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, and the works restricted, mute abstraction may be a response to Europe's recent atrocities as well as the loss of a great friend.

Gallery label from 2010

Additional text

Picasso painted The Kitchen in November 1948, on the thirty-year anniversary of the death of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, his dear friend. Picasso used his kitchen, a large, white, empty room, as a subject in order to make a painting, he reported, "out of nothing." He created the somber, existential work at the end of a series of large-scale monochromatic paintings, including the monumental Guernica (1937), all of which depict scenes of violent turmoil. He had also recently returned from his first visit to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, and the work's restricted, mute abstraction may be a response to Europe's recent atrocities as well as the loss of a great friend.

Gallery label from 2015

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource