'Fernande Olivier, Pablo Picasso and his friends' at the Picasso Museum Barcelona

The exhibition 'Fernande Olivier, Pablo Picasso and his friends' reveals a direct testimony of the lives of the artists of the first avant-garde

Pablo Picasso. Nu sobre fons vermell, 1906. Oli sobre tela, 81x54 cm. © RMN - Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie ) / Hervé Lewandowski © Successió Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2024
'Fernande Olivier, Pablo Picasso and his friends' at the Picasso Museum Barcelona
bonart barcelona - 10/06/24

The Museu Picasso Barcelona presents the exhibition Fernande Olivier, Pablo Picasso and his friends, based on works signed by Pablo Picasso and Fernande Olivier's circle of friends and which make up this unique exhibition curated by Malén Gual. Among them are the signatures of Kees van Dongen, Joaquim Sunyer, Ubaldo Oppi, Ricard Canals, Henri Rousseau, Manolo Hugué or Paco Durrio, as well as portraits made by Pablo Picasso that were key to the development of Cubism. The exhibition can be visited from June 7 to October 6, 2024.

The exhibition is structured by the writings and documents that Olivier produced and compiled throughout his life shared with Pablo Picasso and with artists who lived or transited the Bateau-Lavoir, emblem and home of the avant-garde. He was, moreover, a model for many of them and appears in many of his works. Picasso's companion and muse during his stays in the Catalan places of Gósol, Horta de Sant Joan or Cadaqués, Fernande captures with words the artistic reality of her surroundings and attends key moments in Picasso's life and work. Today the Museum held the presentation press conference with the curator of the exhibition, Malén Gual and the director of the Picasso Museum, Emmanuel Guigon, with the presence also of the person in charge of the La Belle Fernande archive, Gerard Dufuad.

The project has included the La Belle Fernande Archives (ALBF) and such important lenders as the Museé National Picasso-Paris, the Musée de L'Orangerie, the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, Museo Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Düsseldorf Kunstsammlung, the Museo Civico di Modena, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, the National Museum of Art of Catalonia or the Thermalia-Museu de Caldes de Montbui, among others .

Fernande's documents, Picasso's life, the works of the avant-garde

The exhibition is the demonstration of how Fernande Olivier explained the life she shared with Pablo Picasso, and how he, in turn, embodied pictorially the life he shared with her. However, Fernande Olivier, Pablo Picasso and his friends also reviews the bohemian life of the artists close to the couple who passed through Paris and Fernande's life. Thanks to her arrival at Bateu-Lavoir, Fernande was able to meet and write about the lives of Manolo Hugué, Francisco Durrio and Henri Rousseau, which end up being elaborate profiles of free, innovative and creative personalities. Fernande's writings are essential for knowing firsthand the years in which Picasso lived in Montmartre, as well as the circle of friendships that gravitated around the Bateau-Lavoir. "This exhibition helps us discover the life of Picasso, but above all, they discover the life of Fernande", said Emmanuel Guigon right at the beginning of the presentation. "They are written about Picasso that bring light in an intimacy that would not be known in any other way" he continued. Gual has emphasized that the exhibition vindicates her role as memorialist and writer: "She was not only a muse for many of the artists who roamed the Bateau-Lavoir, but she was also a companion, a witness and made a great effort to collect his memoirs". And he insisted that "her texts show the struggle of a woman who wants to be free".

During the press conference, Dufuad wanted to emphasize that the exhibition demonstrates the mutual love that Fernande Olivier and Pablo Picasso felt for each other. She wrote about the life they shared from warmth and humility, and he developed some of the most successful themes of his youth as an artist (such as the pink era) and some of the most relevant techniques in history of art (Cubism). In the works of Picasso, which were presented today at the Museu Picasso, Fernande appears intelligibly, in her role as a model during her stay in Paris, but also in Gósol and Horta de Sant Joan.


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