BEIRUT: Works by renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso have gone on show in Lebanon for the first time at an exhibition at the Sursock Museum in Beirut.
The Sursock Museum collaborated with the Musée National Picasso-Paris on the exhibition, which opened on Friday and features 20 works by the artist.
The exhibition, named “Picasso and the Family,” is part of a cultural initiative that kicked off in 2017 with a program of exhibitions across Mediterranean capitals. Beirut’s show is set to wrap up on Jan. 6.
Art lovers in the Lebanese capital will get the chance to peruse the artist’s drawings, paintings, etchings and sculptures from the period 1895-1972. The styles on show range from the artist’s realist work to his foray into Cubism.
Among the featured works are two paintings from two different stages of Picasso’s artistic career — the first dates back to 1921 when the pioneering artist was in the throes of Cubism, while the other dates back to 1943 and reflects the combined influences of African art and the beginning of the Surrealist movement. The two stand out as prime examples of the artist’s range and offer visitors in Lebanon a perspective on his changing styles.
This unique cultural event is funded by Daniele de Picciotto, the wife of Lebanese-Swiss banker Edgar de Picciotto, with the support of Cyril Karaoglan.
Tarek Mitri, chairman of the museum’s board, said: “This is the first time since the museum reopened that we are hosting an international artist. This will pave the way for more international exhibitions, which is evidence of Lebanon’s cultural vitality and openness to the cultures of the world.”
Meanwhile, Laurent Le Bon, director of the Musée National Picasso-Paris, said: “Picasso was an international artist and the presence of his paintings in Beirut reflects the importance of this capital.”
“Throughout his long years of creativity, Picasso created an art storm and a positive shock that shook the course of the European-global fine arts movement and caused a shift in art schools,” Lebanese Culture Minister Mohammad Daoud said, adding that the artist “dismantled reality and reassembled it in his paintings.”