Step into the Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso at Pullman Yards
Have you ever gazed at a masterpiece at the art museum and wished you could step into its world? Now you can journey through more than 200 works by Pablo Picasso in a new immersive experience at Pullman Yards. The exhibition “Imagine Picasso” will be on view through June 19. Annabelle Mauger, the exhibition director, joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about what art lovers can expect when they move through the experience.
How Mauger went about creating an immersive Picasso world:
“In 2009, there was a huge exhibition about Picasso in Le Grand Palais in Paris, and I just thought, ‘Okay, why don’t we do something about Picasso in an immersive way?’” said Mauger. “It was something important for me to do it the way I wanted to do it. And this means for me, Picasso was not only a painter; he was a sculptor. And I just thought, ‘Okay, why don’t we sculpt his paintings?’”
“I had to work first of all, with the Picasso succession, because the Picasso family, his children, are very powerful about all the paintings and the creations he made, so I have to deal with them,” recounted Mauger. “I just asked them to tell me who was the most important art historian about Picasso in France who could help. And they said to me, ‘There is one person you have to work with. Her name is Androula Michael.’ … The other thing that was very important is the French architect, Rudy Ricciotti, who built those models you will see in the middle of the immersive room.”
A journey through time as well as image:
“An immersive exhibition is not a room after another room after another room, like you will find in a classic museum. It’s just one room. But every period of Picasso’s work are in the same place chronologically, which means that with those images, you will go through with work from the beginning, his first years as a child, paintings in comparison to how he was painting his own children.”
“I think that most people don’t really know the work of Picasso. You know, he painted so much paintings … I think it was important to show all those periods, from the ‘blue,’ the ‘pink,’ the cubism — many kinds of cubism, not only one, in fact — and this surrealism, which was so important for him.”
How “Imagine Picasso” brings the famous “Guernica” to life:
“I think Picasso was saying that he was not painting what he was looking [at], but what he was thinking. And I think that’s very important if you look at this painting of ‘Guernica,’ because there is such a violence in this painting; in the movement, in … this child, which is dead, when you see his mother’s crying; when you see those people with all the fire.”
“But in fact, there is one color missing, if you look at it. Because the painting is only a shade of gray,” Mauger said. “The color of blood is missing. The red is missing. And I asked the Picasso succession if I can put this red color on the floor, and they said to me, ‘Okay.’ And I was very happy, because when you look at this ‘Guernica’ painting in the exhibition, this red color on the floor, in a certain way, gives you another way of seeing it.”
Tickets and more information about the immersive experience “Imagine Picasso,” on view at Pullman Yards through June 19, can be found at www.imagine-picasso.com.