BY LENNIE BENNETT
Picasso at the Dalí Museum is official: "Picasso/Dalí, Dalí/Picasso" will come to the museum from Nov. 8 through Feb. 16 and then continue to its only other venue, the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain.
At a cocktail reception for national media in New York on Thursday, Hank Hine, director of the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, and Bernardo Laniado-Romero, director of the Museu Picasso, made the announcement in collaboration with the Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí.
It's a major coup for the St. Petersburg museum and the first significant exhibition in the Tampa Bay region of works by the 20th century art giant. It will include paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures lent from more than 25 international art museums and private collectors as well as works from both museums' permanent collections. It is unclear which or how many works will be included.
"This Picasso exhibition offers the possibility of rereading the relationship between two key figures of 20th century art and exploring new interpretations of the period in which their lives intersected," said Hine in a news release.
Picasso was 23 years older and a successful artist when he and Dalí met in 1926, when Dalí was in his early 20s. He admired the older artist and Picasso's influence is seen in Dalí's paintings from that time period. They remained friendly through the years, but were not especially close. Their enormous egos and strong competitive spirits probably precluded that. They became two of the most famous artists of the 20th century.
Their personal lives couldn't have been more different. Picasso didn't seek the spotlight. Dalí craved it. Picasso had numerous romantic liaisons and two marriages; Dalí married early and once to his lifelong muse, Gala. Picasso has enjoyed more constant critical acclaim. But Dalí's star has risen in recent decades as scholars re-evaluated his work as a great artist, and several major retrospectives of his work have further burnished his reputation. That they were both Spaniards was an enduring connection, though Picasso lived in France for his adult life and Dalí returned to Spain permanently only in old age.
The exhibition will pair works of the two artists, an original thematic context for the exhibition.
The Dalí Museum has the most comprehensive collection of works by the Spanish surrealist and draws several hundred thousand visitors annually. This exhibition should add seismic allure.
Lennie Bennett can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8293.