The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods is a a special exhibition of around 80 works in the Fondation Beyeler in Basel from February to May 2019.
The latest blockbuster exhibition in the innovative Fondation Beyeler art museum in Basel, Switzerland, focuses on the Blue and Rose Periods of a young Pablo Picasso. From 3 February to 26 May 2019, around 80 paintings and sculptures by Picasso owned by museums and collectors from all over the world will be on display in the most ambitious exhibition ever hosted by the Beyeler. The Picasso exhibition is one of the cultural highlight in Europe in 2019 and a rare opportunity to see such a comprehensive collection of Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods works together.
Basel and the Beyeler are easily reached on public transportation on day trips from other part of Switzerland (Zurich, Bern, Luzern), Southern Germany (Freiburg, Black Forest) and France (Mulhouse, Colmar, Strasbourg, Alsace).
The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods in the Fondation Beyeler
Der junge Picasso – Blaue und Rosa Periode / The Young PICASSO – Blue and Rose Periods from February 3 to May 26, 2019, is the most ambitious ever staged by the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. It is devoted to the paintings and sculptures of the young Pablo Picasso from the so-called Blue and Rose periods, between 1901 and 1906.
For the first time in Europe, the masterpieces of these crucial years, every one of them a milestone on Picasso’s path to preeminence as the twentieth century’s most famous artist, are presented together, in a concentration and quality that are unparalleled. Picasso’s pictures from this phase of creative ferment are some of the finest and most emotionally compelling examples of modern painting, and are counted among the most valuable and sought-after works in the entire history of art. It is unlikely that they will be seen again in such a selection in a single place.
In the chronologically structured exhibition, Picasso’s early painting career is explored through examples of his treatment of human subjects.
Picasso’s Blue and Rose Periods
At the age of just twenty, the rising genius Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) embarked on a quest for new themes and forms of expression, which he immediately refined to a pitch of perfection. One artistic revolution followed another, in a rapid succession of changing styles and visual worlds.
The focus of the exhibition in Basel is on the Blue and Rose periods, and thus on the six years in the life of the young Picasso that can be considered central to his entire oeuvre, paving the way for the epochal emergence of Cubism, which developed from Picasso’s previous work, in 1907. Here, the exhibition converges with the Fondation Beyeler’s permanent collection, whose earliest picture by Picasso is a study, dating from this pivotal year, for the Demoiselles d’Avignon.
The poignant and magical works of the Blue and Rose periods, painted in Spain and France, have a universal appeal and validity. Existential themes – life, love, sexuality, fate and death – find embodiment in the delicate beauty of young female and male figures, and in depictions of children and of old people scarred by life, whose emotions comprise happiness and joy, but also loneliness and melancholy.
Journeying back and forth between Paris and Barcelona, he addressed the human figure in a series of different approaches. In the phase dominated by the color blue, from 1901, he observed the material deprivation and the psychological suffering of people on the margins of society, before turning – in 1905, when he had settled in Paris – to the themes of the Rose period, conferring the dignity of art on the hopes and yearnings of circus performers: jugglers, acrobats and harlequins.
In his search for a new artistic authenticity, Picasso stayed for several weeks in mid-1906 in the village of Gosol, in the Spanish Pyrenees, and created a profusion of paintings and sculptures uniting classical and archaic ideals of the body. Finally, the increasing deformation and fragmentation of the figure, apparent in the “primitivist” pictures, especially of the female nude, which were painted subsequently in Paris, heralds the emergence of the new pictorial language of Cubism.
Picasso Exhibition in the Beyeler in Basel
The comprehensive Picasso exhibition includes some eighty paintings and sculptures loaned by renowned museums in Europe, the USA, Canada, Russia, China and Japan, such as the Musée national Picasso, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the National Gallery, Washington, D. C.; the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; the Centre Pompidou and the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; the Museu Picasso, Barcelona; the Centro de Arte Reina SofÌa, Madrid; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
These masterpieces are supplemented by further outstanding works from private collections, some of which will be presented in public for the first time in many decades.
In terms of organizational effort and cost, this is the highest-caliber exhibition project in the history of the Fondation Beyeler. Years of preparation have been devoted to the presentation, which is certain to be one of Europe’s cultural highlights in 2019. The works on display are all major attractions in the museums from which they have been assembled.
The Exhibition is being organised by the Fondation Beyeler in collaboration with the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, and the Musée National Picasso-Paris, where it will be shown in a modified form before traveling to Basel. The exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler is curated by Dr. RaphaÎl Bouvier, Curator at the Foundation.
Der junge Picasso – Blaue und Rosa Periode / The Young PICASSO – Blue and Rose Periods in the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland from February 3 to May 26, 2019
Visiting the Fondation Beyeler in Basel
The art museum of the Fondation Beyeler Basel has pleasantly long opening hours. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, closing at 8 pm on Wednesdays. The museum is open on all holidays including Christmas and New Year.
Admission to the Picasso exhibition is CHF30. This is slightly more than cantonal art museums but not excessively expensive by Swiss standards. Students pay roughly half while children under 16 enter free.The Swiss Museum Pass is not accepted but many local and regional passes give discounts.
Special RailAway combination deals may be available if traveling by public transportation.
Getting to the Foundation Beyeler in Basel
The Fondation Beyeler is at Baselstraße 77, 4125 Riehen / Basel, in northern Switzerland. It is north of the Rhine and only a few hundred meters from the border with Germany.
The art museum is best reached on public transportation, as parking in Riehen is limited – try the Zentrum parking garage in town. From the Basel Hauptbahnhof (SBB main train station), use tram 2 to the Badischer Bahnhof. Change here to tram 6 (direction Riehen Grenze) and get off at the stop: Fondation Beyer. Total traveling time is just less than half an hour. An alternative is to use the train to Riehen station from where it is an easy five-minute walk to the museum.
The museum has a rather posh restaurant in the Villa Berower in the adjacent park. Cheaper fare is available in many further restaurants and bakeries in between the museum and the train station.