The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Mobile

Art Institute of Chicago opens major Picasso show

In this Feb. 14, 2013 photo, an attendee checks out by Pablo Picasso "Mother and 
Child" during a media preview for "Picasso adn Chicago," an major exhibition 
showcasing the works of Picasso at the Art Institute of Chicago. More than 250 
works will be on display at the exhibit running Feb. 20-May 12, 2013. The Art 
Institute was the first museum in the nation to feature Picasso's work a century ago 
in 1913. Today's exhibit features paintings, drawings, works on paper, ceramics 
and sculptures. (AP Photo/Caryn Rousseau)
In this Feb. 14, 2013 photo, an attendee checks out by Pablo Picasso "Mother and Child" during a media preview for "Picasso adn Chicago," an major exhibition showcasing the works of Picasso at the Art Institute of Chicago. More than 250 works will be on display at the exhibit running Feb. 20-May 12, 2013. The Art Institute was the first museum in the nation to feature Picasso's work a century ago in 1913. Today's exhibit features paintings, drawings, works on paper, ceramics and sculptures. (AP Photo/Caryn Rousseau)

CHICAGO (AP) — A century after the Art Institute of Chicago became the first American museum to show work by Pablo Picasso, the institution is celebrating the Spanish artist with a major exhibition featuring his art and its relationship with the city.

"Picasso and Chicago" opens to the public Tuesday, featuring 250 works — nearly half of the museum's own Picasso collection along with pieces from private collections and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's the Chicago museum's first major Picasso exhibition in three decades.

"One of my hopes is that people can appreciate the art and enjoy it but then also at the same time sort of fall back in love with these works for the history that they represent," exhibit curator Stephanie D'Alessandro said.

One of Picasso's designs is a well-known city attraction, a 50-foot-tall (15-meter-tall) steel sculpture at the downtown Richard J. Daley Center. Children often play on the massive piece in summer, while visitors debate what the enigmatic artwork depicts.

But the artist and the city have a deeper relationship than simply a tourist attraction, museum president and director Douglas Druick said.

"There's a link between Chicago and Picasso in terms of temperament," Druick said. "A restlessness, a desire to improve, a desire to change, a desire never to stand still."

D'Alessandro believes Picasso's art has a boundary-breaking, revolutionary vision similar to Chicago's character and energy.

"That bold vision, that interest in the new and the modern and the technologically interesting is something that Picasso was," she said. "I think his personality was perfectly akin to that and I think that that kind of spirit really appealed to Chicagoans."

The museum became the first in the nation to feature Picasso when it decided to give space to the 1913 Armory Show, which the museum says introduced European modernism to an American audience. It was a move Druick describes as bold and daring for the time because even though the exhibit was presented in New York and Boston, it was only shown in a museum in Chicago.

"We were the only museum willing to take the risk to show the paintings and sculpture that had drawn so much criticism and ire when shown in New York," Druick said.

"Picasso and Chicago" features paintings, drawings, works on paper, ceramics and sculptures, including "Old Guitarist," ''Mother and Child" and Picasso's 1906 self-portrait. It runs chronologically from the artist's early years in Barcelona to his late years in the south of France.

The exhibit is open through May 12. It is accompanied by related exhibitions throughout the Art Institute's other galleries, including installations such as "Picasso and Cezanne," ''Picasso, Paris and African Art" and "Picasso and American Art."

___

Online: http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/picasso-and-chicago and http://www.picasso.fr/us/picasso_page_index.php

___

Follow Caryn Rousseau on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/carynrousseau

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.