Curator invites Atlanta to 'get to know' Picasso through immersive exhibit at Pullman Yards

Imagine Picasso
Visitors take in the Imagine Picasso exhibit at Pullman Yards in Atlanta. It runs through June 19. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Shortly before the Imagine Picasso immersive art exhibit opened at Pullman Yards in Atlanta, Annabelle Mauger was on a video call with the director of the Picasso administration, conducting a final walk-through.

“The first thing that they want to see is that we are respecting the work of Pablo Picasso,” said Mauger. “It’s a real support for me, it’s very important,” Mauger said of working so closely with those in charge of Picasso’s estate.

Mauger is co-directing Imagine Picasso, which runs through June 19 in Atlanta. The exhibit includes a retrospective on the artist’s career, photos of him in his studio and some 200 reproduced pieces of his artwork.

Mauger says that’s important to be able to fully experience an artist whose most famous pieces hang in museums in New York, Paris and Barcelona.

“I think it was time to have an exhibition where you can see all of them in the same place,” she said.

The exhibit launched in France in 2019 and had a run in San Francisco earlier this year. Atlanta is the second stop in the U.S. It’s being held at the same spot where a Van Gogh exhibition was held last year.

“Picasso is probably one of the best-known painters in the world. But most people know his signature, his name, but they don’t really know his work,” said Mauger. “I think I would like the visitors perhaps to see this exhibition as the opening door to a museum, to a book and perhaps to have much more information about this genius, because he was a genius.”

Jacob Cohl, one of the producers of Imagine Picasso, says Pullman Yards is an ideal spot for an immersive art experience.

“We’re using a hundred-year-old, very large, former industrial warehouse. The building has such cool bones,” he said. “We have sixty-foot ceilings in the center and so that allows us to present all this artwork and imagery at a huge scale, never before seen. So that was one of the most attractive things about coming here.”

The exhibit uses close to 100 video projectors to splash Picasso’s artwork onto seemingly every surface in the building.

“It gives people a new perspective to the work, they can see brush strokes up close,” said Cohl. “They can see details they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.”

Correction: A previous version of this story connected curator Annabelle Mauger with the Van Gogh exhibit that was previously housed at Pullman Yards. She is the curator of a separate Van Gogh exhibit that has not been in Atlanta.