The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Picasso And Chicago Opens Wednesday At The Art Institute

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 17, 2013 9:00PM

The Frugal Meal (1904) the Art Institute of Chicago, Clarence Buckingham Collection

In 1913, the Art Institute of Chicago was the first art museum in the country to present the work of Pablo Picasso in the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known as the Armory Show. This landmark exhibition featured works of the most radical European artists of the day alongside those of their progressive American contemporaries. The exhibition was an introduction to European modernism and was presented in three cities, but the Art Institute was the only art museum to host the show during its tour in the U.S.

100 years later, the museum is celebrating this anniversary by organizing its first large-scale exhibition of Picasso's work in nearly 30 years. Picasso and Chicago will include 250 of the artist's paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and ceramics, both from private collections in the city and the museum's own collection. The museum began collecting Picasso's work in the early 1920s with the figural drawings Study of a Seated Man (1905) and Sketches of a Young Woman and a Man (1904/05) and later received The Old Guitarist (late 1903-early 1904) as a gift. Later, they expanded their collection with paintings including Mother and Child (1921) and the surrealist Red Armchair (1931) and landmark sculptures including the Cubist Head of a Woman (Fernande) (1909) and a maquette for Picasso's largest three-dimensional work, Monument for Richard J. Daley Plaza (1965). The museum's collection also includes impressions of The Frugal Meal (1904), one of only three examples in the world of the famous Blue Period etching actually printed in blue ink.

In conjunction with the major exhibition, there will be special installations throughout the galleries, including nine installations that explore Picasso's inspirations and those who drew inspiration from him. There is a wide range of exciting programming to coincide with the exhibition, such as a lecture by Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker, a sketch class, a screening of the French documentary The Mystery of Picasso (Le mystère Picasso), and a performance by Hubbard Street Dance in which the dancers will investigate Picasso's world of flattened space.

We'll be checking out the show this week and will have a review next weekend.

Picasso and Chicago opens Wednesday, February 20 and runs through Sunday, May 12 in Regenstein Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute is open daily from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. except on Thursday, when it closes at 8 p.m. Entry is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5 - 8 p.m.