MADRID, Spain, February 22, 2006 – Spain will commemorate one of the country’s legendary artists with a year-long program of exhibitions, operas, ballets, special lectures, workshops and activities for children and families. Marking the 125th anniversary of the birth of Pablo Picasso, Málaga’s most famous native son, the Museo Picasso Málaga will present three shows. Barcelona will host three exhibitions, three ballets and several concerts to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the artist’s return to that city. And two of Madrid’s leading museums, the Museo del Prado and the Museo Reina Sofía, will also mark the 25th anniversary of the return of “Guernica” to Spain.

Málaga
At the Museo Picasso Málaga, from March 16 through June 11 “The Picassos of Antibes,” will showcase 73 works – never before seen in Spain – highlighting the mythical characters and pagan scenes that blossomed in Picasso’s obra when he lived in the south of France during the summer of 1946. Many of the pieces are from the Musée Picasso, Antibes which is being refurbished. Running concurrently is the “Exhibition of Photographs by Michel Sima.” These images portray the context in which Picasso created during that period.

“Picasso: The Female Figure (October 2006 to February 2007) will illustrate the important role women played as an artistic subject for Picasso. Seventy rarely-shown paintings, drawings and sculptures will explore the powerful female presence that pervades his works from the first decade of the 20th century when his muse was Fernande Olivier and from the artist’s final years (from the late 1940s to the early 1970s) which he spent with his second wife, Jacqueline Roque. Many of these portraits and nudes from the later period belonged to Roque and are now in private and public collections in France and the U.S. Additionally in 2006, the Museo Picasso Málaga will receive 29 new loans of paintings (there are 200 works in the permanent collection) like Standing Nude, Suzanna and the Elders, and Father and Child; sculptures including Woman on Pedestal (Reclining Swimmer) and Feminine Form and a series of rarely-seen drawings. Picasso experts will give lectures from March to May and in the fall Málaga’s leading cultural figures will conduct tours through the museum.

Barcelona
Barcelona is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Picasso’s return to that city with a host of cultural activities under the title “Picasso 2006 BCN.” The Museu Picasso in Barcelona will host three exhibitions. Drawing played a central role in the development of the artist’s career. In “Picasso: A Passion for Drawing,” co-organized by the Picasso Museum in Paris and running now to May 8, more than 300 drawings will bear witness to Picasso’s most intimate circle and reveal what was a true laboratory of experiments. On July 4 “The Picassos from Antibes” will move from Málaga running through October 15. Picasso’s links with the world of the circus were a recurrent theme throughout his life. “Picasso and the Circus” (November 15-February 18, 2007) will analyze his approach to this subject from his early works to the Cubist period.

From March 9 to May 25, the Museu Picasso will host six concerts in its courtyard and neoclassical chamber. The Gran Theatre del Liceu is preparing three ballets with sets and costumes designed by Picasso. On October 22 and 23, the Bordeaux Opera Ballet will perform “Parade, Icarus, The Three-cornered Hat.” From February 16 to 18, 2007, a Picasso-Fallas Season will be inaugurated at L’Auditori with the City Orchestra of Barcelona performing “The Three-cornered Hat” and the National Orchestra of Spain presenting “La Vida Breve,” February 23-25, 2007. A walking tour of Picasso’s Barcelona, a special performance at this summer’s Barcelona Grec Festival and lectures, seminars and workshops at the Universitat de Barcelona, the Museu de Cerámica and several libraries have also been scheduled.

Madrid
Madrid is honoring Picasso as well. Timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the return of “Guernica” to Spain, the Museo del Prado and the Museo Reina Sofía will jointly present, “Picasso: Tradition and Avant-garde” running from June through September. Focusing on Picasso’s important role in the history of art, the Prado will showcase an important group of the artist’s works offering a new perspective on his art. Picasso was the museum’s director during the Spanish Civil War and refused to have “Guernica” displayed in Spain during Franco’s time. The work was returned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1981. The Reina Sofía’s show will offer a different perspective, emphasizing the artist’s commitment to the world around him.

Opened in 2003 in the heart of Málaga’s historic district, the Museo Picasso is housed in the Buenavista Palace built between 1516 and 1542 by Jewish converts. Restored by Richard Gluckman working with Isabel Camara and Rafael Martin Delgado, the building is a prime example of civilian Andalusian architecture. Located at Calle San Augustín, 8, it is open Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays and holidays from 10 AM to 8 PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 9 PM. Closed Mondays. Admission is about $7. (www.museopicassomalaga.org).

The Museu Picasso in Barcelona is in three buildings on the Carrer Montcada: the Baroque Meca, medieval Berenguer d’Aguilar, and Baró de Castellet and was opened in 1963 through donations by Picasso and his friends. The museum has 3,600 pieces in its permanent collection divided into three sections: paintings and drawings, engravings and ceramics. Admission is about $7 and it is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 AM to
8 PM (www.museupicasso.bcn.es)

The Prado Museum is located on Paseo del Prado (www.museoprado.mcu.es) and is open daily, except Mondays, from 9 AM to 7 PM. Tickets are about $7, except Sundays, when it is free.

The Reina Sofía’s main building, at Calle Santa Isabel, 52, is open six days a week Mondays to Saturdays from 10 AM to 9 PM and Sundays from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. (Closed Tuesdays.) A ticket costs about $3.60 and admission is free on Saturdays from 2:30 PM to 9 PM and on Sundays from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. (www.museoreinasofia.es)

For further information about Spain, contact the Tourist Office of Spain, at 1-212-265-8822 or www.spain.info

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