Picasso The Line

Sep 16, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017
Main Building

Famous for pioneering Cubism in the early 1900s, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was one of the most innovative and prolific artists of the 20th century. Picasso was a master across disciplines and one of the most accomplished draftsman in modern art. He pursued drawing assiduously throughout his career, and while his drawings have previously been the focus of important exhibitions, Picasso The Line explores the distinctiveness of Picasso’s line drawings and considers the essential position that these works hold within the artist’s oeuvre.

Settling in Paris in 1904, Picasso established himself as a prominent participant in avant-garde circles of that city, absorbing, transforming, and originating some of the most influential ideas of his time. By focusing on his use of line—“linealism” as described by the guest curator Carmen Giménez—the exhibition conveys Picasso’s attempts to resolve the three dimensions of form through linear means, thus relinquishing perspective.

Picasso The Line includes drawings from the most important periods of the artist’s long career; it gathers about 90 of his works on paper that span a wide range of mediums, from pen or pencil to charcoal and collage. The exhibition presents drawings from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, several of which have never been exhibited in the United States and others are seldom-seen examples in the Menil Collection’s holdings.

A beautifully printed, fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and examines Picasso’s use of the fundamental element of line in drawing as well as the role of his art in the Menil Collection.

The Menil is the organizer and sole venue for Picasso The Line.

Picasso The Line is curated by Carmen Giménez, guest curator, who was founding director of the Museo Picasso Málaga, and coordinated by David Breslin, John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Chief Curator, Menil Drawing Institute, and Menil Associate Curator Clare Elliott.

Bank of America is the Lead Corporate Sponsor for Picasso The Line.

This exhibition is organized by the Menil Collection with exceptional support from the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Major funding is provided by Madame Bérengère Primat; The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Janie C. Lee and David B. Warren; and Susan Vaughan Foundation. Additional support comes from Richard and Susan Anderson; Mike and Diane Cannon; Schlumberger Limited; Skadden, Arps; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Jones Day; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Janet and Paul Hobby; John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Linda and George Kelly; Anne and David Kirkland; Franci Neely; Susanne and William E. Pritchard III; Leslie and Shannon Sasser; Anne and Bill Stewart; Marcy Taub Wessel, Henry J. N. Taub II, and the Taub Foundation; and the City of Houston.

United Airlines is the exclusive travel partner of the Menil Collection.