Out of Bounds
February 11 - May 21, 2023
Mint Museum Uptown
February 11 - May 21, 2023
Mint Museum Uptown
Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is the first museum exhibition to explore Pablo Picasso’s deep engagement with landscape subjects and his expansive approach to this traditional genre.
Through a selection of more than 40 works spanning Picasso’s full career, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, organized by American Federation of the Arts, is the first of only two venues in the United States — and the only venue on the East Coast — to feature this exceptional exhibition filled with works from private collections and international museums together. The dynamic grouping of works in the exhibition offers visitors an unparalleled window into the artist’s creative process, from his earliest days in art school (1896 when then artist was just 15 years old) to months before his passing in 1973.
Assembling some of Picasso’s greatest landscape compositions in one traveling exhibition, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is part of The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, structured around some 50 exhibitions and events that are being held in renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death.
The Mint’s ticketed exhibition is the only museum exhibition that will be on view in the United States April 8, the date of Picasso’s passing that is part of The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023.
Picasso was committed to depicting landscapes throughout his entire life. From his earliest days in art school until the year before his death, landscape remained the prime genre through which he mediated his perception of the world and which shaped his own creative evolution. Landscape served as a catalyst for his formal experimentation, including early Cubism, as a field in which to investigate urban modernity, as an interface between humanity and nature, as a ground for direct sculptural intervention, as a space of personal withdrawal, as an inviting terrain for elegiac scenes, and as a territory of resistance and flight.
Within Picasso’s vast oeuvre, landscapes have received the least scholarly attention. This art-historical dearth notwithstanding, to ignore Picasso’s landscapes is to miss a crucial dimension of his achievement. Landscapes offer the clearest lens for understanding Picasso’s attentiveness to his cultural milieu as well as to his ongoing engagement with art-historical traditions.
This examination of Picasso’s landscapes highlights the artist’s attention to tensions between humanity and nature, and to the changing countryside being reshaped by industrialization. Picasso expressed this awareness throughout his landscape production, beginning early in the 20th century in Spain, where powerful forces of nature met the excitement of urban growth in his paintings of Málaga, Gósol, Horta de Ebro, and Barcelona.
The systematic destruction wrought by World War II and years of occupation color the artist’s Paris cityscapes of the 1940s and the atmosphere of works such as Winter Landscape (1950). Picasso’s grand Côte d’Azur landscapes done at the end of his career show the urbanization of a region where, in earlier decades, he had captured the lives of peasants and laborers. The devastation of the Anthropocene and the political rise of the ecological movement in France coincided with Picasso’s last landscape of 1972, an immense work that reads like an epitaph to both his creative and social life.
Organized by the American Federation of Arts with guest curator Laurence Madeline, Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds will be organized into sections, which address various phases, approaches, or themes in the artist’s landscape painting, and which yield new insights into his creative production and broader involvement with the world of his time. Through this in-depth study of Picasso’s diverse landscapes, it becomes possible to reclaim the genre’s primacy in his work and to affirm his keen focus on the shifting twentieth-century cultural backdrop.
Cultural organizations working with the Mint to create a multilayered experience of innovative programming, include the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Theatre Charlotte, and JazzArts Charlotte.
In honor of the Picasso’s Landscapes: Out of Bounds, the Mint partnered with Talking Walls to invite 10 artists and collectives to create murals around Charlotte inspired by Pablo Picasso’s landscapes or his monumental antiwar painting Guernica. Aligning with Talking Walls’s mission to beautify the Queen City with large-scale paintings for all to enjoy, the Playing Pablo murals are located at Camp North End, Mint Museum Uptown, Mint Museum Randolph, Optimist Hall, and Queens University. Involving Charlotte contemporary artists was always central to the Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds. The exhibition allows local artists to study the works up close and in person, to break down the structure, and analyze the compositions and brushstrokes to further their own experimentation. The partnership reminds us that one of the Mint’s primary goals is to preserve and present art’s history so that the next generation can push it forward, says Jen Sudul-Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum. “Utilizing local artists to be a part of this global celebration with the Mint highlights their efforts to continuously collaborate with the local arts community. Picasso has influenced so many artists that this seemed like a natural and organic fit between TWC and the Mint. Each artist selected for this experience was able to honor Picasso in their creative lens and I am proud of what came to fruition.” —Carla Aaron-Lopez, artist and chairwoman of Talking Walls.
Get your limited edition exhibition catalog to remember the experience.
Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is generously presented in Charlotte by Bank of America, the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, Mecklenburg County, M.A. Rogers, Ann and Michael Tarwater, North Carolina Arts Council, and Moore & Van Allen. In-kind exhibition support provided by World Affairs Council of Charlotte. The Mint Museum is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors.
Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds is organized by the American Federation of Arts with guest curator Laurence Madeline, with the exceptional support of the Musée national Picasso-Paris. The exhibition is generously supported by Monique Schoen Warshaw. Additional support has been provided by Betsy S. Barbanell, Lee White Galvis, Clare E. McKeon, and Stephanie R. La Nasa. Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Picasso Celebration 1973-2023: 50 exhibitions and events to celebrate Picasso.
Additional generous supporters
Leigh-Ann and Martin Sprock
Robin and Bill Branstrom
Laura and Mike Grace
Marshelette and Milton Prime
Posey and Mark Mealy
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson
Marty and Weston Andress
Mary and Walt Beaver
Betsy and Alfred Brand
Sarah and Tim Belk
toni and Alfred Kendrick
Beth and Drew Quartapella
Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach
Charlotte and John Wickham
Mary Lou and Jim Babb
Jo Ann and Joddy Peer
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.
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