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Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors

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by Caroline Haack (subscribe)
Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London.
Event: -
The new free exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery
Pablo Picasso Minotaure dans une barque sauvant une femme, 1937, Photo by Erc Baudouin, from

The great advantage of art galleries in London is that the exhibits they offer are free but are still curated and of an excellent quality. Among the largest galleries, such as Saatchi and Gagosian, there are often exhibits dedicated to the greatest artists, which are often free. This is the case of the Gagosian Gallery in Grosvenor Hill at the moment, where you can discover Picasso's fascination with bulls, minotaurs and matadors through his works and archives.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the grandson of Pablo Picasso, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. It gathers works from all periods of his work, exploring the theme of bull and bullfighting that was always omnipresent in the life of the artist. You will discover his first drawings as a child seeing the bullfights, to the links with the Surrealists with the scenography of it. Indeed, Picasso will connect it with the ancient mythologies, in particular, the allusion to the Minotaur. The bull, in addition to being a Spanish symbol (his home country), is a symbol of mythic power, but also mortality.

Pablo Picasso, Femme couchée a la meche blonde from

The gallery is filled with loans from museums and private collections, but it is also a great opportunity to discover rare Picasso works, as many have never seen exhibited, at least in the UK. To relate to the themes of bullfighting and mythology, 'Minotaurs and Matadors' is displayed in surroundings that are as theatrical as they are elegant. The Gagosian's Grosvenor Hill gallery gets the look of the modernist 1950s, with pleated green curtains covering everything and dividing the space and plywood trestles for sculptures and ceramics.

The exhibition was presented as would have been a diary. It is composed of drawings, paintings, sculptures and ceramics: all the arts that made Picasso's work. The name of the exhibition is taken from a film he made in 1929: "Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors". The curator, Sir John Richardson, has written three wonderful biographies on the artist and is currently writing the fourth one. Who better to curate such an intimate exhibition on the famous Spanish artist.
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Where: 20 Grosvenor Hill, Mayfair, London W1K 3QD
Cost: Free entry
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