Pablo Picasso began making sketches and preparatory studies for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in the winter of 1906–07, producing hundreds over the ensuing months before arriving at the final composition by the fall. In celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the creation of this epoch-making painting, this installation is dedicated to the work and its complex, fascinating genesis. The exhibition reunites Les Demoiselles with a group of preparatory studies for the overall composition and for the individual figures, and also includes selected works created immediately before and after the iconic painting that highlight its generative role in the artist's oeuvre. Discoveries from recent conservation and archival materials tracing Les Demoiselles's journey to MoMA are also on view in the gallery and in the mezzanine of The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building.
Organized by Anna Swinbourne, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
In conjunction with the one hundredth anniversary of Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, May's installment of Modern Poets reflects upon Picasso's masterpiece, other works in the Museum's collection made in 1907, and the year 1907 itself. Readings include works written by Picasso's friends and acquaintances—such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Gelett Burgess, André Salmon, and Gertrude Stein—who saw and responded to Les Demoiselles, as well as other literature from this cultural and artistic milieu. Following in the tradition of the MoMA Members Magazine, which commissioned poets to respond to works in the collection and then published the results, the Museum also offers contemporary poets the opportunity to write new poetry about art from all curatorial departments made one hundred years ago. Participants include Mary Jo Bang, poet and Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program, Washington University, St. Louis; Mary Ann Caws, author, translator and Distinguished Professor of English, French, Comparative Literature, and Film Studies, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York; Pierre Joris, poet, translator, essayist, and Professor of Poetry and Poetics, State University of New York, Albany; Jerome Rothenberg poet and professor of visual arts and literature, University of California, San Diego; and others.
Join us as we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Pablo Picasso's groundbreaking painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. We will examine preparatory studies and archival materials as we trace Picasso's process in the creation of one of his most significant works.
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