The exhibition “Secret Images. Picasso and Japanese Erotic Prints” which is open until 14 February 2010, the fruit of some unique research by the Museu Picasso, puts nineteen Japanese prints that belonged to the artist on display for the first time. The exhibition, with over a hundred works, establishes a dialogue between these prints and Picasso’s own erotic engravings.
Although at some point in his life Picasso maintained he had no interest in Japanese art, it is known the painter often changed his ideas.
The exhibition introduces us to the phenomenon of Japonism, which arrived in Barcelona at the end of the 19th century. Picasso’s masters, like Rusiñol, Cases and Nonell discovered Japanese art first hand and were seduced by its flat images.
In Paris too, many of Picasso’s contemporaries were influenced by these images and Japanese aesthetics. In fact, the artist did a sketch for a poster advertising a play with the actress Sadayakko, which revolutionised the artistic atmosphere of the time.
It is known that Picasso owned a Japanese print in 1911 and never got rid of his collection, which contains sixty examples from when Japanese printing was at its height, at around 1700-1800, and its key exponents.
As with these prints, Picasso did not hesitate in showing naked bodies in all their splendour, sketching the genitals of the lovers and showing explicit sex scenes. He even contorted the bodies if necessary.
Secret Images. Picasso and Japanese Erotic Prints | From 05/11/2009 to 14/02/2010
Museu Picasso -> C Montcada, 15 – Ciutat Vella