Picasso NYC, the genius and a polemic man who knows how to creates a legend
1907: Five nude prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó (Avinyó Street) in Barcelona (Spain) were painted by Picasso, still not very famous) but ready to start a new artistic movement: Cubism (together with Braque and Gris).
Picasso brakes here with the traditional idea of feminine beauty, turning women faces into African masks seen from different point of view at the same time.
The large painting was hardly criticized by everybody that summer in Paris, even by his friend Apollinaire. Then, Picasso guarded the painting nearly 10 years.
1916: The painting is exhibited in the Galerie d’Antin in Paris but still the public was not prepared to understand it and the prostitutes (now, young ladies) were guarded again.
1920: The 1st world war had finished and Picasso was a famous painter. The piece was exhibited in the Petit Palais with some admirers (Andre Breton or André Salmon) and again, some detractors (Matisse for instance).
1924: The fashion designer Jacques Doucet bought ‘The Young Ladies of Avignon’ by only 25,000 francs. Doucet was a rich successful man, famous to dress the most posh ladies of that time but also to help rebel young designers. He had promised to will the painting to the Louvre (the reason why Picasso sold so cheap) but he lied and sold it to private collectors.
1937: The Jacques Seligman & Co. art gallery in New York City held an exhibition titled ‘20 Years in the Evolution of Picasso, 1903–1923’ that included Les Demoiselles. The Museum of Modern Art acquired the painting for $24,000.
1939: The Moma in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago organized an important Picasso exhibition on November 15 that remained on view until January 7, 1940. The exhibition entitled: Picasso, 40 Years of His Art, was organized by Alfred Barr, and yes, more than 30 years later: ‘Les Demoiselles of Avignon’ were a success.
The ways of art are really intricate!
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