In one of 2011’s most anticipated modern art exhibitions, and already one of the best, Gagosian Gallery in New York opened its thrilling Pablo Picasso exhibition in April to great reviews, titled “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’Amour Fou”.
“Guitare à la Main Blanche” (1927) is the earliest work in the exhibition. More than eighty works have been amassed here depicting Marie-Thérèse in various forms from Picasso’s artistic vocabulary. She inspired the artist to imbue his work with color, decoration, solidity, sensitivity, and sensuality.
Picasso met the young and unassuming Marie-Thérèse in 1927 on a street in Paris. She was 17 years old and he was 45. The girl was unfamiliar with Picasso’s name and so he brought her to a bookshop to show her a monograph of one of his paintings and asked to see her again. She accepted and soon began a secret love affair with the artist. Despite her frequent portrayal, the identity of Marie-Thérèse was kept secret even from Picasso’s closest friends.
L’Amour Fou, the title of the exhibit refers to the madness of love. Picasso supported Marie-Thérèse financially but never married her. In 1977, she committed suicide just a few years after Picasso’s death. The exhibition shows a visual obsession- a never-ending love letter to his muse.
The exhibition is at Gagosian Gallery in New York until June 25, 2011.