Along with a thriving local art scene, Las Vegas is the place to see famous artists and their works that transcend time and place. “Picasso: Creatures and Creativity” is on exhibit at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, featuring an original portrait that has never been shown in public before. The exhibition will be open to the public through Jan. 10, 2016.
The piece, “Profile of a Woman with Blue Hair” (Nov. 1, 1938), features Dora Maar, one of Picasso’s partners. The portrait represents the eccentric and dramatic relationship between the couple using a dark palette, distorted eyes, sharp angles and straight lines. When the exhibit closes, it will return to the Picasso family estate.
Pablo Picasso is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Living in two centuries (19th and 20th), he is credited for being part of the invention of constructed sculpture, the collage and the Cubist movement where objects are reassembled in an abstracted, three-dimensional form. He was most influential in emphasizing drawing and, while using color as an expressive element, was not known to incorporate subtleties. Picasso was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who created an estimated 50,000 artworks until his death in 1973. This includes an estimated 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, 12,000 drawings and thousands of prints, tapestries and rugs.
The exhibition will focus on the artist’s fascination with the human figure, showcasing 43 original works that have never been displayed together. Curated by Tatyana Franck, there are 40 paintings and prints, two linoleum blocks and one zinc plate. Three photographs taken by Picasso’s friend David Douglas Duncan showcase Picasso’s home (interior) in the south of France. The exhibition will showcase Picasso’s work from 1938 to 1962.
“‘Picasso: Creatures & Creativity’ is a unique exhibit offering visitors the opportunity to dive into the mind and life of Picasso,” said Tarissa Tiberti, executive director of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. “Additionally, guests will be enveloped by the insatiable curiosity and artistic vision of one of history’s most intriguing and iconic artists.”
Created during his post-World War II period, “Woman with a Yellow Necklace” (1946) intersects the portrait of Picasso’s partner Françoise Gilot with transposed geometry. “Reclining Woman Reading, (1952)” displays his creativity using negative space.
The lithographic “Two Nude Women” (1945) captures two women who were very important to Picasso during his lifetime. He would spend 10 years with Gilot, a painter whom Picasso met when he was 61 and she was 21. Photographer Maar, who was 28 when she met 54-year-old Picasso, would also be with him for a decade.
Women overlapped in Picasso’s life as they did in his art, and he did a series of lithographs of both women examining their personal growth, changing appearance and how they fit into his life.
Among exhibition highlights is what many consider to be one of his masterpieces, “Woman with a Chignon and a Yellow Hat” (1962).Considered a key work in Picasso’s late period, the painting depicts his second wife, Jacqueline Roque. The head, face and nose resemble Roque, and the penetrating eyes are Picasso’s. He would create over 400 portraits of her, more than any of the other women he was involved with or his first wife. She was 26 years old and he was 70 when they met. They married two years later, after the death of his first wife. Roque was with Picasso when he died and would commit suicide in 1986.
“Picasso: Creatures and Creativity” is on exhibit through Jan. 10, 2016. Located in Bellagio Resort & Casino, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art presents exhibitions of artworks and objects from internationally acclaimed museums and private collections. BGFA is open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Last admissions are sold 30 minutes prior to closing. Guests also may enjoy complimentary daily docent tours at 2 p.m. For more information, call 702.693.7871 or visit bellagio.com/attractions/gallery-of-fine-art.aspx.