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Picasso exhibition opens Saturday at the Dali Museum

Bill DeYoung



Pablo Picasso Le Baiser (The Kiss) Mougins, 26 October 1969 Oil on canvas 97 x 130 cm Musée national Picasso-Paris Acceptance in lieu Pablo Picasso, 1979. MP220. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

As the Dali Museum prepares to draw back the curtain on its first exhibit of 2022, executive director Hank Hine is like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Picasso and the Allure of the South opens Saturday, and following a Tuesday morning media preview, Hine could barely contain his enthusiasm. The Dali has nearly 80 works – many of them never seen in the United States – by perhaps the best-known artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso.

As with previous Dali exhibitions of Kahlo, Warhol and Magritte, name recognition is key. “By doing Picasso, we draw people’s attention,” Hine said. “And then we want to add a little something to that. Something that nobody else has done.”

Museum director Hank Hine. Photo: Bill DeYoung.

Spanning the years 1909 to 1972, the works were created in the South of France – one of the Spanish painter’s favorite muse-capturing spots – and later, his permanent home.

“I love the play between the ‘allure’ of the South of France and the allure of the south,” Hine explained. “I do want the world to know that St. Petersburg is a place to reckon with. We can bring the great works of the world here.

“It’s a matter of pride for the Dali Museum, that we are able to give this community the best, globally.”

Organized in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris, Picasso and the Allure of the South is organized into four sections: The Birth of Cubism, From Cubism to Realism, Corridas de Sud (bullfighting) and Surrealism and Beyond, corresponding with the phases of the artist’s creative life.

The different provinces and regions of Southern France are mapped out on the gallery floors.

Photo by Bill DeYoung.

Hine said he is most proud of the exhibit’s technological component: A camera that uses Artificial Intelligence to create a “cubist” painting of the gallery visitor.

It’s similar to the museum’s “Dali Lives” kiosks, wherein the long-dead artist, the museum’s namesake, “appears” to speak with the visitor on certain subjects, and they “take a selfie” together.

“Your Portrait” takes the technology a step further – as the portrait is being created, text on the screen discusses what’s being done to the photograph by the AI.

“Largely,” said Hine, “the avant-garde of technology is put there to wow and delight and thrill. We’re using it to educate.

“We’re saying what an artist does when he looks at the world and wants to change it – wants to find a new perspective on it, wants to add more than just the visual sense to it. That’s what the AI is doing when it creates your portrait in this manner.”

Picasso and the Allure of the South runs Jan. 29-May 22. For tickets and additional information, click here.

Pablo Picasso
Corrida: la mort du torero
(Corrida: Death of the Bullfighter)
Boisgeloup, 19 September 1933
Oil on panel
31 x 40 cm
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Acceptance in lieu Pablo Picasso, 1979. MP145. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.





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