Picasso Peace and Freedom (2010-11)

Morris, Lynda and Grunenberg, Christoph Picasso Peace and Freedom (2010-11). [Show/Exhibition]


The major AHRC-funded exhibition ‘Picasso Peace and Freedom’, curated by Lynda Morris and Dr Christoph Grunenberg, presented new insights into the impact of Picasso’s membership of the Communist Party on the meaning of his work, challenging social and cultural assumptions of the artist as politically apathetic. The exhibition had a significant public impact, attracting over 95,424 visitors in Liverpool, 364,365 in Vienna, 252,116 in Denmark, and widespread international press coverage. John Richardson published a substantial critique of the exhibition in the New York Review of Books (25 November 2010), which was addressed by Morris and Grunenberg in the Burlington Magazine (February 2011 Vol. 153 No. 1295). Morris presented the research at the ‘1st International Congress on Art, Remembrance & Democracy Gernika’ (2012), Artists Space New York (2013) and in lectures at the Imperial War Museum and Barbican Centre London, amongst others. In 2011 Morris was invited by the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven to participate in the ‘Picasso in Palestine’ project, Ramallah. Her keynote speech was published in A Prior Magazine (22nd Edition), vzw Mark and University College Ghent. Morris is currently developing research on ‘Picasso, Modernity and Africa after 1945’. ‘Picasso Peace and Freedom’ continued Morris’s research on The Artists International Association 1933-1953, Modern Art Oxford (1982) and her 1980 Guardian article ‘Painting Picasso Red’ on the 1950 Sheffield Peace Congress. The major AHRC research grant, awarded in 2008, supported three months of research on Picasso’s political papers at the Picasso Archive, Museé Picasso, Museé St Denis, French Communist Party HQ, Museé Vallauris and the collection of Gérard Gosslin. Morris also incorporated new research at Tainement Library, New York University on the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and the Smithsonian and Museum of Modern Art on Alfred Barr’s papers into the exhibition.

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