Art, love and 'the beast within': Winnipeg Art Gallery unveils largest Picasso exhibit in 40 years

Works by the influential Spanish artist Pablo Picasso were installed on the walls of the Winnipeg Art Gallery Friday.

Artworks reveal a different side of the famous artist, says WAG director

Pablo Picasso's painting Lamp and Cherries is one of the works featured in a new display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (Radja Mahamba/CBC)

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is giving Manitobans a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the works by famed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, hailed as one of the 20th century's most influential artists, in a new exhibit opening this weekend.

The pieces in the exhibit, which were installed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Friday, are part of a new display running until mid-August of works by the famed painter, sculptor, printmaker and writer.

"I cannot think of an artist who had a greater impact on the 20th century," said Stephen Borys, director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

"He painted for seven decades, if not longer, and literally had something to say every decade he was producing art."

It's the first major showcase of Picasso's work at the gallery in more than 40 years, Borys said.

Stephen Borys, director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, said this is the largest Picasso show in the city in 40 years. (Radja Mahamba/CBC)

The Winnipeg Art Gallery features two new Picasso exhibits — Picasso in Canada, a WAG exhibit curated by Borys, and Picasso: Man & Beast, organized by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa — along with works like Picasso's 1945 painting Lamp and Cherries, on loan from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The artworks in the WAG exhibit feature pieces rarely displayed, including etchings and intimate portraits, the gallery said.

"We're proud here at the WAG to present Manitoba's first major showcase of Picasso's work in over four decades," Borys said.

Visitors to the gallery in Winnipeg wil get a chance this summer, he said, to understand more about who Picasso was.

"They'll have a chance to decide for themselves what he's really all about through his art," said Borys.

Picasso, who lived from 1881 to 1973, is one of the world's best known artists. He is famous for co-founding the cubist movement, a driving force of modern art in the last century.
The Picasso works will be on display until mid-August at the WAG. (Radja Mahamba/CBC)

Borys said while the artist is famous for his cubist works, Picasso was also an "incredibly skilled printmaker."

The Picasso: Man and Beast exhibit features 100 of Picasso's prints created in the 1930s.

The works show a different side of Picasso, said Sonia Del Re, the exhibit's curator, and reveal the artists's obsession with art, love and "the beast within."

The Winnipeg Art Gallery's Picasso show opens to the public Saturday and runs until Aug. 13, 2017.

Picasso at the WAG

4 years ago
It's Manitoba’s first major showcase of work by Pablo Picasso in over 40 years. The two exhibitions highlight the many sides of Picasso, with 35 artworks, paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, and ceramic works. Ehibit runs from May 13 to August 13, 2017 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 0:23