Picasso the foreigner

Palazzo Reale, Milan
20th September 2024 - 2nd February 2025

Home Page events and exhibitions

Share on
The year begins with the exhibition Picasso the Foreigner, promoted by the City of Milan and produced by Palazzo Reale with Marsilio Arte. The exhibition will be realised thanks to the generous collaboration of the National Picasso Museum in Paris (MNPP), the main lender. The original idea for the project came from Annie Cohen-Solal, scientific curator of the exhibition with the special curatorship of Cécile Debray, president of the MNPP, and the collaboration of Sébastien Delot, director of the MNPP’s collections. The exhibition will be set up in the rooms of the Palais Royal and open to the public from 20 September 2024 to 2 February 2025.

Picasso the Foreigner presents more than 80 works by the artist, as well as documents, photographs, letters and videos, and opens up more reflections on the themes of welcome, immigration and the relationship with the other. Pablo Picasso, born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain, settled in Paris in 1904. Although France became his home and his fame grew beyond national borders, the artist never obtained French citizenship. Thanks to a multidisciplinary approach and extraordinary research in the archives of the French police, Annie Cohen-Solal, author of the first biography of Jean Paul Sartre and a student of Leo Castelli, brought to light papers that until now had been lying on shelves for decades.

«I found documents, prints and photographs that show how the police considered Picasso an alien and an outcast,»explains Annie Cohen-Solal, originally from Algiers and currently a professor at Bocconi University in Milan. «Throughout his life he was kept under surveillance for three reasons: he did not speak French and was treated as a foreigner; he was suspected of being an anarchist because he had hung out with some Catalans; and finally, as an avant-garde artist, he was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts.»

Even when he was consecrated as one of the greatest living artists of his time, Pablo Picasso was not considered a true French citizen. The exhibition explores how the condition of being a foreigner influenced and formed his identity and, in turn, forces a reflection on contemporaneity.

«In my work, it constantly emerges how Picasso suffered this state of vulnerability and precariousness because he knew he could be deported at any moment. However, precisely because of this, while France continued to barely recognise him, he managed to protect himself by creating a network of powerful friends, collectors, collaborators and buyers throughout Eastern Europe who helped him to exhibit in the most prestigious places.»

Annie Cohen-Solal
No one had investigated this aspect of the life of the artist, author of the famous Guernica of 1937. Together with Cécile Debray, President of the MNPP, and Sébastien Delot, Director of Collections and Communication at the MNPP, the three curators will create a compelling journey through the life of Pablo Picasso. Ceramics, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, videos and documents will give visitors an insight into Picasso’s world, his life, his success and his relationship with women, the subject of critical research by the curators. 2024 holds yet more surprises in store.

Press Office Marsilio Arte
Giovanna Ambrosano | ufficio.stampa@marsilioarte.it
Giulia Zanichelli | zanichelli.giulia@gmail.com

You might also be interested in

Sign up, our newsletter is waiting for you!

Sign up now to stay updated on exhibitions, events, artists, books.

By registering you confirm that you accept our privacy policy.