Picasso The Line

Exhibition Website

Sep 16 2016 - Jan 8 2017

Famous for pioneering Cubism in the early 1900s, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was one of the most innovative and prolific artists of the 20th century. Picasso was a master across disciplines and one of the most accomplished draftsman in modern art. He pursued drawing assiduously throughout his career, and while his drawings have previously been the focus of important exhibitions, Picasso The Line explores the distinctiveness of Picasso’s line drawings and considers the essential position that these works hold within the artist’s oeuvre.

Settling in Paris in 1904, Picasso established himself as a prominent participant in avant-garde circles of that city, absorbing, transforming, and originating some of the most influential ideas of his time. By focusing on his use of line—“linealism” as described by the guest curator Carmen Giménez—the exhibition conveys Picasso’s attempts to resolve the three dimensions of form through linear means, thus relinquishing perspective.

Picasso The Line includes drawings from the most important periods of the artist’s long career; it gathers about 90 of his works on paper that span a wide range of mediums, from pen or pencil to charcoal and collage. The exhibition presents drawings from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, several of which have never been exhibited in the United States and others are seldom-seen examples in the Menil Collection’s holdings.

A beautifully printed, fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and examines Picasso’s use of the fundamental element of line in drawing as well as the role of his art in the Menil Collection.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether you go or not,  Picasso The Line, is the first comprehensive study of Picasso's mastery of line drawing and its centrality to his artistic process, providing an insightful reevaluation of the role of line in the work of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). Picasso pursued drawing assiduously throughout his career, ranging across media such as pen and pencil, charcoal, and papier collé. This book brings together eighty extraordinary drawings spanning the most important phases of Picasso’s career. Contributors discuss the artist’s intensive exploration of line in relation to three-dimensional form, both in the context of the European artistic tradition and in analyses of selected works. Drawing emerges as central to the artist’s process—a creative process that reveals another facet of Picasso’s genius for making art out of the simplest of means.

  • Works on Paper
  • European
  • 20th Century
  • Modernism
  • Cubism
  • Pablo Picasso

Exhibition Venues & Dates