Love Picasso? Europe Is Where to Be in 2023

By Abbey Algiers

Breaking news! 2023 is the year of a man named Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso? Confused? 

Let’s try it again.

2023 has been officially declared “The Year of Picasso” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the artist we know as Pablo Picasso.

Born in Malaga, Spain, on October 25, 1881, Pablo Picasso is best known for his contributions to modern art in the 20th century. Chances are, when you think of Picasso, cubism comes to mind. But the depth of Picasso’s work is far and wide—so wide, in fact, that it’s only fitting that a year is dedicated to showcasing this great master’s contributions to art and our world. That’s why Spain and France have teamed up to arrange exhibitions in Spain, France, and worldwide in order to celebrate Picasso and commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death (April 8, 1973). This is great news for Picasso lovers with plans to travel to Spain or France in 2023—there are plenty of opportunities to see his works. 

2023 Picasso Exhibitions Worldwide

To pay tribute to Picasso, Spain and France have joined forces to arrange more than 40 Picasso exhibitions in both countries—16 in Spain, with the other exhibitions in France and various cities throughout Europe and North America, offering plenty of opportunities around the globe to enjoy the masterpieces of Picasso.  

A list of worldwide Picasso Exhibitions in 2023 can be found at the Official Celebration of Picasso site.

A few upcoming exhibitions in Madrid include: 

Exhibitions and Education: The Year of Picasso Offers Something for Everyone

The Year of Picasso will go beyond exhibitions – in addition to showcasing Picasso’s works, the commemorative year will offer educational opportunities to showcase Picasso’s influence and relevance throughout the ages.  Those interested in deepening their knowledge of Picasso’s life and legacy can attend conferences and special events at museums and other venues in Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, Malaga, and other cities throughout Europe and North America.

A Celebration That’s Been Long in the Works

The 2023 Year of Picasso is a celebration that’s been a year and a half in the making. From the first event, “Picasso – El Greco” at the Kunst Museo Basel in Basel, Switzerland, to Madrid’s Picasso premiere, presented by Madrid’s Fundación MAPFRE this September, “Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the Dematerialization of Sculpture” to the last event ending in April 2024 at Paris’ Petit Palais, there are many opportunities to remember and appreciate the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

A list of all events related to the “Year of Picasso” can be found here. Many of the exhibitions are being orchestrated through the Picasso Museum in Paris.  

Picasso Around the World… Beyond 2023

If you miss one of the 2023 exhibitions, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate the work of Picasso at Picasso Museums throughout Europe:

Picasso Museum in Paris, France
Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain
Picasso Museum in Antibes, France
Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain
Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain
Rosengart Collection in Lucerne, Switzerland
Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany
National Picasso Museum in Vallauris, France

Picasso – Such a Master That a Year Wasn’t Long Enough for His Tribute

While 2023 marks the official Year of Picasso, Spain actually started the celebration in 2022, when Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid kicked off the celebration on September 23 with the exhibition “Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the Dematerialization of Sculpture” at the Fundación MAPFRE Recoletos Exhibition Hall. The exhibition was organized by Fundación MAPFRE with the collaboration of the Musée National Picasso-Paris, the Spanish National Commission for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso, and the González Administration. The exhibition highlighted the collaboration between Pablo Picasso and another Spanish artist, sculptor Julio González, and how they essentially began the iron sculpture movement, thus greatly influencing the artistic creation of the 1920s and early 1930s.   

Fundación MAPFRE’s Rocio Herrero, Assistant Director of Education and Audience, explained the importance of this collaboration between Picasso and Gonzalez. “Both artists were colleagues and friends who admired each other’s works. When they worked together, they were able to develop and mature even more as artists. Thanks to Gonzalez, Picasso learned the welding technique he would use in new iron sculptures. And, thanks to Picasso, González trusted in his own skills, and he made his most important sculptures. Both men came out ahead through their collaboration.” 

Pablo Picasso. Woman in the Garden, París, 1930. Soldered iron painted white, 206 × 117 × 85 cm. Musée National Picasso-Paris. Pablo Picasso Gift in Lieu, 1979. MP267, © Sucesión Pablo Picasso. VEGAP, Madrid, 2022. Foto © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Adrien Didierjean / Mathieu Rabeau

Inspiration Through Art

As Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Perhaps through the gifts of Picasso’s work, we can all find the inspiration to go out into the world and share our own.

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