1881, Málaga – 1973, Mougins (France)
The Spanish painter, printmaker and sculptor was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and produced a vast oeuvre of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and ceramics. Picasso studied art in La Coruña, Barcelona and Madrid before settling in Paris in 1904. His Blue and Rose periods were followed in 1907 by the painting Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon – the first major Cubist work. Following first collage-based pieces (1912) and works produced in a neoclassical style (1920s), was invited to take part in the first Surrealist exhibition in Paris in 1925. He also began producing large sculptures assembled out of scrap objects and pieces of iron. In 1937 he created the vast mural Guernica for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle; it dealt with the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German air force earlier that year and expressed the artist’s abhorrence of the inhumanity and brutality of war. In 1939 a major retrospective of Picasso’s work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1949 he moved to the South of France, where he had regularly spent summers painting since 1909. His late work is characterized by the aggressively dynamic portrayal of female nudes, a wide range of artistic styles and a renewed interest in the art of the Old Masters.