The Mirror and the Mask Portraiture in the Age of Picasso
Two locations :
(Free! Annex location) Fundacion Caja Madrid – Plaza San Martin, 1
Tues to Sun 10:00 – 20:00
(Not free! Main location – 9 euros) Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Paseo del Prado, 8
Tues to Sun 10:00 – 19:00
Feb 6 to May 20, 2007
De-Botoxing the Genre – Portraiture doesn’t have to be boring
We’ve all grudgingly wandered through the portrait galleries of museums gazing at the anemic-looking royal subjects secretly wondering how they attained that level of un-emotion in a pre-Botox society. In comparison with these sullen-faced bourgeoisie, the still life canvasses in the previous room suddenly look frenetic with activity.
The Mirror and the Mask – Portraiture in the Age of Picasso rescues the genre from these dreaded preconceptions by focusing on the provocative period between 1890 and 1990.
During this time, radical societal change made us question who we were and the introduction of the camera relieved us of the onus of literal interpretation – the results are as playful and profound as you can imagine.
Presenting work from all of the greats including Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and more, the show inadvertently doubles as a crash course in art history.
A world away from the pompous paintings of past generations, the exhibition reanimates the ancient conundrum of self perception.