The exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía of part of the Musée Nacional Picasso in Paris Collection, from whose archives over four hundred pieces have been selected, transcends the dimension of a conventional exhibition. It is the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of Pablo Picasso’s (Malaga, 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973) career that has been shown until now in Spain. The result of the confluence of the pieces from both museums is a collection of essential creations of Picasso paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, sketchbooks and a selection of documentary photographs from the archive of the painter, exhibited on the occasion of a major renovation and expansion of the Parisian site. The Musée Nacional Picasso in Paris was opened in 1985 in order to present the collection of works donated by Picasso's heirs to the French State in 1979, they gave the state the right of 'first choice' between the different works that were held at the artist’s workshops. It therefore includes his most prized pieces which the artist did not want to give away, the "Picassos" by Picasso, and were later joined by a second donation, after the death of Jacqueline Picasso in 1986 and subsequent successions by more heirs, united in the Museum by an active policy of acquisitions.
This exhibition is therefore an exceptional and unique one, being made up of a selection of the Parisian museum's collection and which includes almost all of his masterpieces, spanning Picasso’s entire career, integrated and in close dialogue with the archives from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, with Guernica (1937) as protagonist, one of the biggest milestones of modern and Picasso’s art.
The exhibition is designed into four chronological areas in a dialectical construction which proposes an unedited route of his creation process, from the academicism of his first paintings in 1895, when he was fourteen, until the "mosqueteros" which embody the exalted painter, through to the painting from the summer of 1972, a few months before his death.
This exceptional exhibition complements the numerous exhibitions on Picasso that have taken place since the Museo’s inception, in its attempt to present different perspectives of the most important artist of the twentieth century.