Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change - 6abc Loves the Arts

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Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change is on display at the Barnes Foundation until May 9th. (WPVI)

The Barnes Foundation has a new exhibition that explores some of Picasso's greatest works during one of America's most trying times.

It's called Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change and it examines the artist's works around the time of World War I.

"He's been working on Cubism, these very distorted fragmented forms, and then all of the sudden, he starts working in this Classical mode again, where forms become very readable and elegant," says the Barnes Foundation's Managing Curator Martha Lucy.

The exhibit features about 50 Picasso works, all created from 1912 to 1924, and show how the artist was experimenting and fluctuating between styles.

"One of the interesting things about this time period is that Picasso never addresses the war as a subject in his art so you never see any depictions of soldiers or violence," says Lucy.

Pieces include oil paintings, watercolors, photographs and ballet costumes that Picasso designed.

"They were really shocking at the time. People thought that the costumes were totally crazy," says Lucy, "but they give you a sense of how radical Picasso's Cubism really was."

The exhibit also showcases some of Picasso's more daring classical pieces, like Seated Woman and Woman in White.

"He creates these very elegant female bodies that are at the same time kind of lumbering and almost grotesque with these paw-like hands, and I just find them really fascinating," says Lucy, "I hope that visitors see that there are so many different sides to Picasso....he's an artist that you can't put into a box."

Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change is on display at the Barnes Foundation until May 9th. For tickets and museum hours go to www.TheArtsinPhilly.org.
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