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Primitive Picasso

Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac, Paris

28 Mar - 23 Jul 2017

“Negro art? Don’t know it.” It was with this provocative tone that the painter, sculptor and graphic artist made a point of denying his relationship with non-European art. However, and as his personal collection demonstrates, the arts of Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia never ceased to accompany him in all his various studios. The documents, letters, and objects brought together in the first part of the exhibition demonstrate Picasso’s curiosity about non-Western creation. In a second, more conceptual section, ‘Primitive Picasso’ offers a comparative view of the artist’s works with those of non-Western artists. The resulting confrontation reveals the similar issues those artists have had to address (sexuality, impulses and loss) through parallel solutions (deforming or deconstructing bodies, for example). Find out more about the ‘Primitive Picasso’ exhibition from the Musée du Quai Branly’s website.

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Anthropomorphic sculpture. © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain

Anthropomorphic sculpture. © musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain

Anthropomorphic mask, Gabon, Africa. © Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo by Patrick Gries, Bruno Descoings

Anthropomorphic mask, Gabon, Africa. © Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, photo by Patrick Gries, Bruno Descoings

Dora and the Minotaur (1936), Pablo Picasso. © RMN-Grand Palais (National Picasso Museum - Paris) / Thierry Le Mage

Dora and the Minotaur (1936), Pablo Picasso. © RMN-Grand Palais (National Picasso Museum – Paris) / Thierry Le Mage

Bust of a Man Writing (1971), Pablo Picasso. © RMN-Grand Palais (Picasso National Museum - Paris) / Gérard Blot

Bust of a Man Writing (1971), Pablo Picasso. © RMN-Grand Palais (Picasso National Museum – Paris) / Gérard Blot

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