Picasso, Paris, and the Grand Palais
The works of an iconic painter on display in one of the world’s most iconic cities. If you are going to be in Paris anytime between October 7, 2015 and February 29, 2016 then you can’t miss “Picasso.Mania.” Both seasoned art-lovers and those looking for fun and interesting things to do around the city this fall and winter will love this highly-anticipated exhibition.
The exhibition takes place at the Grand Palais and houses a wide range of Pablo Picasso’s works, spanning his various stylistic phases including Cubism, and will feature select paintings from his family’s personal collection. Curated by Didier Ottinger, the exhibition also boasts pieces by well-known contemporary artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons, whose work was heavily influenced by Picasso. The exhibition’s arrangement is both chronological and thematic, highlighting Picasso’s overall career and approach to the craft.
The venue itself is also a site to see. The Grand Palace des Champs-Elysees (or more commonly, the Grand Palais) was built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture, which is characterized by its theatrical ornamentation and its focus on the building’s function. The interior features elements of Classical and Art-Nouveau styles (Art-Nouveau had just started gaining popularity in both Europe and the US in 1890, right before construction began on the building). It is as beautiful as it is historic.
The Grand Palais has a rich history. Construction officially began in 1897 to prepare for the Exposition Universelle, the 1900’s world’s fair. It was also used in both World Wars. During World War I, the building was used as a military hospital and throughout World War II it was used as a truck depot before later housing two Nazi propaganda exhibitions. During the Liberation of Paris in 1944, the Parisian Resistance used the space as their headquarters.
Now, it is used as an exhibition hall and museum complex, bringing in over 2 million visitors per year to see its many wonderful exhibitions, like “Picasso.Mania.”