ART STUFF on a plane # 19: ‘Where is the Picasso Museum?’

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train – though this week it was a plane to the South of France. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

pp whitefaun_picasso
White Faun Playing a Double Flute, 1946

Picasso is readily associated with Malaga, where he was born; Barcelona, his teenage home; Paris, where he found fame; and the Riviera, where he grew old – and all have museums in his name. There are also four so titled elsewhere: in Berlin, where a recent refurbishment dedicates a whole building to the immensely impressive Picasso holdings of the Berggruen Collection; a much more modest selection in Madrid, derived from a friend; Münster, with 800 prints; and Lucerne, which concentrates on a photographic record of Picasso the man. Perhaps there are more, but I know of none outside Europe, which – after all – Picasso hardly left.

On the Riviera, Picasso lived mostly in Vallauris (1948-55), where he discovered ceramics and painted the giant murals ‘War’ and ‘Peace’, which form the basis of its Picasso Museum; Cannes (1955-61); and the village of Mougins above Cannes (1955-73). Yet just a two month residency in the Chateau Grimaldi, Antibes in the summer of 1946 forms the basis for one of the best of the nine: 23 paintings and 44 drawings with plenty of shown where they were made: nymphs and fauns, including the famed ‘La Joie de Vivre’ make for a beautifully coherent and joyful set. Picasso required that they stay put – so, to Antibes…

pp bardot Picasso and Bardot seems like plenty of Riviera

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, Elephant, State, Photomonitor... and, of course, FAD.

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