Pablo Picasso reflected perfectly in his work the cruelty, the horror and the agony of the Bombing of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. It has been 80 years since the iconic work of "El Guernica" was first exhibited, and to commemorate this event, the Reina Sofía Museum presents the exhibition "Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino al Guernica”.
“El Guernica”, Pablo Picasso, 1937. “Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino al Guernica”. Exposición en el Museo Reina Sofía
The exhibition, which can be seen until September 4, presents a tour of works by the artist from Málaga after 1925, in which scenes of outrageous actions can be seen, where violence and horror are very present. This is intended to reflect on how previous artistic research could have had a significant influence on the creation of Guernica.
Pablo Picasso. Woman Dressing Her Hair, Royan, 1940. Óleo sobre lienzo. New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Louis Reinhardt Smith Bequest, 1995. © 2017. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/ Scala Florence. © Sucessión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2017
"Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino al Guernica”, curated by Timothy J. Clark and Anne M. Wagner, collect more than 180 of the artist's greatest works, from the Reina Sofía Museum collection and over 30 Institutions around the world such as the Musée Picasso and the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, or the Beyeler Foundation (Basel), and some private collections such as Claude Ruiz-Picasso, Nahmad or Menil.
Vistas de sala. Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino a Guernica, 2017
The tour of the exhibition begins and ends in a room with documentation and references about the viewer to the fatality of the Civil War. Several spaces are dedicated to preparatory sketches and notes, some of them very violent load, like “La muerte de Marat” and “Retrato de la marquesa de culo cristiano echándole un duro a los soldados moros defensores de la virgen” (1937). As a centerpiece of the exhibition is majestic and solemn, which can be considered one of the most celebrated works of art of the twentieth century and probably "the work of the twentieth century that has generated more interpretations," remarks Manuel Borja-Villel, Director Of the Reina Sofía Museum: "El Guernica".
“Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino al Guernica”, vista de la exposición.
The Reina Sofia Museum has created the Guernica Documentary Fund, an archive curated by Rosario Peiró and Rocío Robles Tardío which compiles historical documentation on the work. The exhibition can be seen until September 4 in the Sabatini Building and there is a conference program entitled “Devenir Guernica. Lecturas sobre guerra, exilio e iconoclastia”, to reflect about the art work.