Pablo & Alexander:
Playing with Picasso

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In autumn and winter 2009 a major exhibition “Pablo Picasso – Masterpieces from the Picasso Museum in Paris” was shown at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki. At the same time the Annantalo Arts Centre hosted the exhibition “Pablo & Alexander: Playing with Picasso”. The central part of the exhibition was an installation based on Picasso’s painting “La Liseuse” (“The reading woman”). The original painting was on show in the main exhibition in Ateneum.

When looking from a distance, visitors think they are seeing Picasso’s painting “La Liseuse” enlarged to a huge size. However, the picture isn’t there at all: it’s a three-dimensional installation, a space filled with painted plywood boards, creating the illusion of the picture. It’s possible to enter the “painting” just by stepping over the picture frame. Narrow corridors, a second floor, “underground” passages, stairs and tunnels can be explored by visitors, especially small ones. Some surprises, related to Picasso’s work, can be found inside the installation: puzzles based on Picasso’s paintings, mirrors with cubistic self-portraits, a documentary about Picasso and an old telephone with Picasso’s voice coming out of it... and, of course, Picasso himself, welcoming his guests. At the same time visitors to the installation, seen from outside, become part of the art piece and are integrated into Picasso’s painting.

The installation is perfectly safe and can be visited by children, adults and disabled persons. The parts can be dissassembled, transported and mounted in any other space about 12 x 5.2m in size and at least 4 m high.

Annantalo Arts Centre, Helsinki

In collaboration with:
Ateneum Art Museum
Succesion Picasso
Musee National Picasso, Paris
Henrik & Martin Hackenberg
Mihail Serstjuk

©Alexander Reichstein