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Picasso show tantalizes with hints of his relationships

Laying Back

April 28, 1996
Web posted at: 8:45 p.m. EDT

From CNN Correspondent Michael Okwu

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Art enthusiasts, anxious to catch a candid glimpse of Picasso's life through a collection of rare portraits, crowded New York's Museum of Modern Art for the unveiling of "Picasso and Portraiture."

The exhibit, which opened Saturday, features 221 paintings and works on paper. Nearly half of the collection has never been shown publicly, and curators are billing it as the first comprehensive survey of Picasso's portraiture.

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Glenn Lowry, the museum's director, said, "It reveals in a very personal way dimensions of Picasso's life, character and his artistic interests that never before have been revealed."

The display, Lowry explains, does not attempt to trace Picasso's work from a historical or stylistic perspective, but instead looks at Picasso's relationships "through his filter of responses to the individuals he portrayed."

Reactions have varied.

"He hated women, and it shows in all the portraits," a woman said after mulling over Picasso's works.

However one man said, "I think I got to know him better as a human being through seeing his children, his mistresses, his wives."

The exhibit ends September 17.

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