Picasso the Illustrator
SCAMP’s roving reporter, Mario Sughi, has been out and about on the streets of Dublin again.
The Cervantes Institute, just outside Trinity College, is running (8 November – 18 December) a very interesting exhibition of graphic works of Pablo Picasso, very appropriately entitled La Multiplicidad del Vertice [The multiplicity of the vertex]. The exhibition is organised on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the birth of the artist by the Cervantes Institute in collaboration with the Museum Extremneho Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporanea (MEIAC) and la Junta de Extremadura.
The multiplicity of the vertex looks at the graphic works of Picasso and at a group of illustrations the master of cubism made for books such as “le Cocu Magnifique” and “El enterrro del Conde de Orgaz”. According to the Exhibition Catalogue Picasso illustrated 156 books in his lifetime. The approximately 40 works exhibited here come from the Extremadura Collections, and are mainly etchings printed on paper, dating from between the second half of the nineteen thirties and the first half of the nineteen seventies.
The elegance of the exhibition room at the Cervantes Institute reflects the astonishing elegance of these works by Picasso.
The presence of erotic themes when combined with images taken from mythology is not a novelty in Picasso’s work. So it is not surprising to find within this group of graphical works (where cubism is completely absent) mythological animals, circus acrobats and bull fighters side by side with voluptuous women. The impression we obtain from them is that of a world horrible, attractive, violent and sensual all at the same time.
And Picasso illustrates it with the greatest elegance and irony so that where there is chaos there can also be harmony.Therefore one of the most outrageous scenes at the exhibition (a powerful centaur raping a woman from behind) with Picasso becomes almost poetry, a work which for a moment even makes us smile without taking away the horror (including the horror of just having admired a scene of rape).
It is this great freedom of the master which really impresses the viewer, this capacity of telling us about the world without the least concern at all for any moralistic impediment. Picasso seems to be enjoying himself greatly in these drawings without ever for a second losing the grasp of the ambivalent, multiple reality of our lives.
Picasso La Multiplicidad del vertice
Obra graficas en las colecciones de Extremadura
Instituto Cervantes Dublin, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
Opening hours Monday to Thursday 12-8pm, Friday 12-5 pm Closed Saturdays, Sundays and 6th December