A meeting of creative minds has taken place at the Musée Picasso Paris. Five years in the making, Picasso Celebration: The Collection In A New Light! has opened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the artist’s passing. And fashion designer and artist, Paul Smith is supporting the endeavour by lending his artistic direction to the new Picasso immersive exhibition.
The exhibition is curated by the museum’s president Cécile Debray and Joanne Snrech and features the works of the legendary artist as seen through Paul’s ever-curious eyes. For visitors and fans of the painter, the Picasso Celebration: The Collection In A New Light!” exhibition delivers a fresh interpretation of the artist’s sweeping oeuvre.
Opened to the public on March 7, 2023, the Picasso exhibition showcases his work in a way that reflects the strong use of colour, stripes, sketching, and abstract forms reminiscent of Paul Smith. The exhibition explores various themes, including cubism, the blue period, sculpture, collage, portraiture, costume, ceramics, biomorphism, the theatre, and fashion advertising.
“The Musée Picasso generously gave me carte blanche to offer a new interpretation,” Paul explains. “It’s a fantastic and very humbling opportunity.” The exhibition represents Paul’s interpretation of Picasso’s work, while maintaining the upmost respect for the artist himself. “There is a humour and playfulness throughout while remaining deferential to Picasso’s extraordinary life and legacy,” he adds.
Stepping into the exhibition at the museum, visitors will be greeted by the artist’s iconic “Bull’s Head” (1942) alongside a wall of handlebars as a nod to Paul’s lifelong love of cycling. Visitors will also discover the Breton room, which stands as a tribute to Picasso’s famed marinière Breton tee.
The Bestiary room explores Picasso’s relationship with animals and is designed around a photo studio setup with a pair of goats. A room with a giant Signature Stripe rug, a custom commission by the Rug Company, one of Paul Smith’s long-standing collaborators, is also on display.
Alongside Paul Smith, the exhibition also includes contemporary pieces from living artists Guillermo Kuitca, Obi Okigbo, Mickalene Thomas, and Chéri Samba, which are presented alongside a wealth of Picasso’s masterpieces to contextualise and, in some cases, challenge, his legacy.
“Picasso Celebration: The Collection In A New Light!” is open until August 27, 2023, at Musée Picasso Paris.
(Images: Paul Smith/ Musée Picasso)