June 17 2023
This was an opportunity to see some of the lesser known works of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). The exhibition was organized by FUNIBER (Fundacion Universitaria iberoamericana) to mark the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death. Because the pictures are owned by Spain the flags of Spain and the European Union are on display, placed in the center of the longest wall.
The Centro Cultural de Espana in the Casa de Soldado is a unique building located in Casco Viejo, about half way along the esplanade called Paseo de las Bóvedas. This is a raised, wide walkway with broad steps on both ends. It separates the town from the sea giving beautiful views. You enter the building from this walkway.
I love going into these old buildings. The exterior is from the 1700s but the interior was remodeled in 2010. Most of the renovation was done by the students of the Workshop School of Panama. We went upstairs to the Picasso exhibit. A glass wall with the exhibit title, Aún Sorprendo (a surprise) separates the exhibit from the stairway and elevator hall.
Picasso’s sketches of dancers, a collection called “Bailarines” were drawn in the 1940s. In these he elicited shape and action with an economy of strokes. Visitors with an interest in drawing studied these closely. The lines are clear and seemingly done effortlessly.
Four drawings titled “Mujeres de Argel” (Women of Argentina) were displayed on one wall. These show elements that I associate with Picasso’s work.
Another wall displayed the “Genevieve” series a dozen sketches done on Japanese paper between 1951 and 1952. Genevieva Laporte was his secretary at that time.
It was fun to watch the reactions of other visitors. Some studied every item, taking their time. They observed from the center of the room, then they moved closer in stages until they were face-to-face with the image. Other people went through quickly, maybe snapping a few photos to show they were here. One young boy glanced at the artwork without interest and tolerated what he obviously thought of as his father’s ‘waste of time.’ Most visitors were in between, looking closely only at pictures that caught their interest and only glancing at the others.
I liked the variety shown. Picasso was a prolific artist over a long lifetime. The popular press shows just a few of his more dramatic paintings. It was a pleasure to see this selection of lesser known, and to me, more accessible pieces.