UAE hosts Picasso exhibition, showcase his Arab influence

May 26th, 2008 - 5:05 pm ICT by admin  

Abu Dhabi, May 26 (IANS) An exhibition of paintings by Pablo Picasso tracing the various stages of his career will open Tuesday in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time, WAM news agency reported. Abu Dhabi is the second stop in a nine-nation tour of the exhibition that started in the Reina Sofa museum in Spanish capital Madrid.

The exhibition, featuring 186 paintings, sculptures and drawings will be housed at the Emirates Palace and will run till Sep 8.

The drawings, prints and illuminated manuscripts will highlight the Arab influences that Picasso absorbed during his youth in Malaga, La Cocina and Barcelona.

“This exceptional exhibition helps to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s standing on the global cultural landscape and is another initiative in this emirate’s campaign to expand cross-border cultural dialogue,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of exhibition organiser Tourism Development and Investment Company.

“The inclusion of the works which have a specific Arab connotation will resonate well on a local and regional level and will fulfil an intrinsic role of reaching out to the wider community,” he added.

The exhibition traces Picasso’s career across a range of work, beginning with his Blue Period Self-Portrait (1901) and concluding with Portrait of the Young Painter (1972), made only months before his death.

“We have here a totally new situation, since we are able to follow Picasso’s own trajectory, his search, the development of his awareness, and his discoveries, through his paintings, sculptures and drawings. It is an experience that offers something that is both fragile and remarkable,” said Anne Baldassari, director of the National Picasso Museum in Paris.

An educational programme is also being organized to coincide with the exhibition.

Designed for all age groups, the programme includes interactive activities, art workshops, illustrated lectures, tours, debates on Picasso and his artistic legacy, and a week-long “Picasso Art Club” event.

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