The special exhibition can be seen in the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza until January 15, 2023 and was realized with the sponsorship of Telefónica. It is a must for lovers of both art and fashion. For the first time, the works of Pablo Picasso and Gabrielle Chanel enter into an intimate dialogue. This dialogue reveals how the friendship united them and influenced their creations. Creations that shaped fashion and art history at the same time.
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“Chanel and Picasso had in common that they could destroy to create new cultural canons,” Chanel’s heritage director told El Mundo newspaper. “Both made aesthetics that resonated with society.” Not only because “his creative power” was one that occurs once in a hundred years (…), but because his creations have managed to penetrate and even change visual directions. Because what would Cubism be without Picasso? And what about, for example, straight lines from the 1920s and the absence of the corset without Chanel? It is impossible to understand these phenomena without the creative input of these two artists.
“This exhibition is something essential and necessary in our world, especially now that we live in such difficult times both in Europe and worldwide,” Bernard Ruiz Picasso, the painter’s grandson, said in his speech. “It is our responsibility to show the diversity and what 20th century art consists of. An exhibition of this quality and level is something extraordinary, which we can learn a lot from and talk about: Art gives us the opportunity to engage in dialogue and to exchange ideas and to develop”.
The exhibition “shows the influence Picasso had on Chanel’s fashion creation, but also how, after a certain time, especially after Olga [Picasso]chapter changes the direction of influence: it is Picasso who is involved in the Chanel sphere, because every time he looks at Olga and paints, he is confronted with Chanel’s straight lines and recreates what she created”, said the promoters of the exhibition during the opening .
The exhibition, organized by the museum in collaboration with the Madrid Region and Chanel and sponsored by Telefónica, is divided into four parts:
- Cubism and the Chanel style, which includes the most sober and straightforward creations of both artists;
- Olga Picasso, another major protagonist of the exhibition as she was a fundamental part of the relationship with Chanel;
- Antigone, which focuses on the 1920s and also gave rise to the first professional project in which Picasso and Chanel collaborated (the scaled-down version of Sophocles’ tragedy by Jean Cocteau).
- Finally, The Blue Train, a dance operetta produced by Diághilev, with a libretto by Jean Cocteau, the second and last professional project that Picasso and Chanel collaborated on.
There are sequined evening dresses, gorgeous and familiar ‘little black dresses’ and jackets that you may not have seen before; all mixed with cubist oil paintings and portraits of Olga. But there are also some lovely sports inspired outfits and a shirt dress with a tie. This one belongs to the last chapter and seems to come straight out of ‘The Baders’; a 1918 painting by Picasso of three women on the beach in colorful outfits.
Until January 15th, visitors to the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza can discover for themselves what Picasso and Chanel said to each other without words, to see for themselves how exceptional their talent is and why the two went down in history and why Chanel remains a legend , how many years pass too. Click here for more information.