Picasso: The Mediterranean Years 1945-1962 at Gagosian Gallery, London

Currently showing at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street is an exhibition featuring Pablo Picasso’s work during the post-war years when he spent much time in the South of France. The exhibition is a rare view into the artist’s domestic life, his joys of fatherhood, and women and children.

Picasso had a vibrant social life during these years. He resided amidst poets, bullfighters, and various international friends and admirers. Picasso’s family life was also renewed during this time with the birth of his children Claude and Paloma by mother Francoise Gilot. The newborns joined their siblings Paulo (his son with Olga Khokhlova) and Maya (his daughter with Marie-Therese Walter). It was during this time that he also met Jaqueline Roque, his second wife and frequent model with whom he would spend the last twenties of his life.

Surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the South of France and the enriched atmosphere of his new social companions, Picasso embarked on a period of renewed artistic creativity. During this time he revolutionized sculpture and ceramics as well as completed additional works in using graphic techniques such as linocuts and lithography.

He painted important portraits of Francoise, Claude, Paloma and Jaqueline as well as several iconic sculptures such as Slyvette (1954) and La Femme Enceinte I (1950). The exhibition includes generous loans from members of the Picasso family and is installed in Britannia streets galleries which are transformed by architect Annabelle Selldorf.

The summer months serve as a Picasso moment for the London art crowd. Picasso: Peace and Freedom which opened in May at Tate Liverpool and focuses on Picasso’s political involvement during the post-war years is a nice contrast to the Gagosian exhibit which highlights the same period but is far removed from the artist’s political activities. In Pablo Picasso: The Mediterranean Years one senses the remnants of the living man, his intimate lair, and personal ménage. The artist’s multi-faceted life can be viewed at both Tate Liverpool and Gagosian. An unmissable experience would be see both, each challenging the other, as the artist’s private and public life are revealed through his art.

Picasso: The Mediterranean Years is showing at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street, London through August 28th

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