Major Picasso exhibition is coming to Melbourne this winter


Pablo Picasso has created some of the most iconic paintings of the 20th century—and now these famous works are coming to Melbourne this June for The Picasso Century at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Set to capture Picasso’s extraordinary career, the exhibition isn’t just about Picasso as a lone artist, but also about his connection to others. The show will align Picasso’s work in dialogue with the many artists, poets and intellectuals he interacted with throughout the 20th century, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Alberto Giacometti, Françoise Gilot, Valentine Hugo, Marie Laurencin, Dora Maar, André Masson, Henri Matisse, Dorothea Tanning and Gertrude Stein.

Including 70 works by Picasso, The Picasso Century looks at the array of influences, encounters and collaborative relationships that steered Picasso through many distinct artistic periods: his Blue Period, Cubism and Surrealism.

By further making artistic and intellectual connections between Picasso’s works and the world around him, the show also features over 100 works by 50 of his contemporaries. This includes artists rarely shown in Australia, such as Natalia Goncharova, Julio González, Wifredo Lam, Suzanne Valadon and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva.

Pablo Picasso, Spanish 1881–1973, Abduction of the Sabines (L’Enlèvement des Sabines), 4–8 November 1962, oil on canvas, 97.0 x 130.0 cm. Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de création industrielle. Gift of M. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, 1964. Succession Picasso/Copyright Agency, 2022. Photograph: Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Christian Bahier et Philippe Migeat/Dist. RMN-GP.


As Tony Ellwood AM, director of NGV, says, “This exhibition offers visitors an extraordinary insight into the development of modern art and the preeminent figure at its centre, Pablo Picasso. Through more than 170 works of art—including many that have never been seen in Australia—audiences will come to appreciate the many ways in which Picasso influenced—and was influenced by—the artistic community that surrounded him.”

Organised into Fifteen thematic sections, The Picasso Century traces the many distinct periods that shaped the artist’s career over more than seven decades, while also situating his work within a broader artistic and geographical context.

In addition, Picasso’s influence in the 21st century is explored through the 2009-10 video work, I see a Woman Crying (Weeping Woman). Created by contemporary Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra it references Picasso’s 1937 series of paintings Weeping Woman—one of which of course rose to Melbourne infamy when it was stolen from the NGV in the 80s.

Developed for the NGV by the Centre Pompidou and the Musée national Picasso-Paris, and drawn from French national collections, as well as the NGV Collection, The Picasso Century will ensure Melbourne sees some of the master’s most famous and revered works, in the flesh.

The Picasso Century
National Gallery of Victoria
11 June—9 October

News Words by Art Guide Australia