“You have an interesting face. I would like to do your portrait. I have a feeling we will do great things together,” announced a 45 year-old Pablo Picasso on a Parisian street to an unassuming 17 year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter – the fair-haired, strong-featured beauty that would go on to become one of the art worlds most influential muses. The love-affair that ensued, from the 1920s until 1940 (while Picasso was married to Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova), lead to the birth of a child as well as countless enigmatic artworks – a selection of which are currently on view at Gagosian Gallery’s L’amour fou exhibition. The exhibition is intimate and rousing – on one wall appears a painfully beautiful love note Picasso had penned to Marie-Thérèse, alongside photographs and films of his muse – it’s incredible to see Marie-Thérèse’s likeness vividly pronounced in so many of the artist’s works, even the heavily abstracted pieces (some of his most experimental of the period) – including sculptures.
Curated by the renowned Picasso biographer, John Richardson, together with Marie-Thérèse’s granddaughter, art historian Diana Widmaier Picasso, Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou offers an incredible insight into the inner workings of an artistic genius, and one of the most poignant love’s of his life.
Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou
Gagosian Gallery NYC
April 14 – June 25, 2011
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