‘Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds’ opens at the Mint Museum Uptown on February 11
Following Charlotte’s successful presentation of the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit last year, the Queen City will now host another much-anticipated exhibit of a very different classic master: Pablo Picasso.
“Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds” is the first museum exhibition to explore Pablo Picasso’s deep engagement with landscape subjects and his expansive approach to this traditional genre.
Through a selection of more than 40 works spanning Picasso’s full career, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, organized by the American Federation of the Arts, is the first of only two venues in the United States — and the only venue on the East Coast — to feature this exceptional exhibition filled with works from private collections and international museums together.
The collection of works in the exhibition offers visitors an unparalleled window into the artist’s creative process, from his earliest days in art school (beginning in 1896 when the artist was just 15 years old) to months before his passing in 1973.
Assembling some of Picasso’s greatest landscape compositions in one traveling exhibition, ”Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds” is part of The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, structured around some 50 exhibitions and events that are being held in renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death April 8, 1973. The Mint Museum’s exhibit is the only one that will be on view in the United States on that date.
Picasso was committed to depicting landscapes throughout his entire life. From his earliest days in art school until the year before his death, the landscape remained the prime genre through which he mediated his perception of the world and which shaped his own creative evolution. Landscape served as a catalyst for his formal experimentation, including early Cubism, as a field in which to investigate urban modernity, as an interface between humanity and nature, as a ground for direct sculptural intervention, as a space of personal withdrawal, as an inviting terrain for elegiac scenes, and as a territory of resistance and flight.
Among Picasso’s vast collection of works, landscapes have received the least scholarly attention. This examination of Picasso’s landscapes highlights his attention to tensions between humanity and nature, and to the changing countryside being reshaped by industrialization. Picasso expressed this awareness throughout his landscape production, beginning early in the 20th century in Spain, where powerful forces of nature met the excitement of urban growth in his paintings of Málaga, Gósol, Horta de Ebro, and Barcelona.
The systematic destruction wrought by World War II and years of occupation color the artist’s Paris cityscapes of the 1940s and the atmosphere of works such as Winter Landscape (1950).
Picasso’s grand Côte d’Azur landscapes at the end of his career show the urbanization of a region where, in earlier decades, he had captured the lives of peasants and laborers. The devastation of the Anthropocene and the political rise of the ecological movement in France coincided with Picasso’s last landscape of 1972, an immense work that reads like an epitaph to both his creative and social life.
“Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds” kicks off February 11 and continues through May 21, with more than 40 paintings. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors ages 65 and over, $20 for college students with ID, and free for K-12 students and teachers. Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) riders with a current train ticket will receive $2 off admission.