Rogelio López Cuenca’s ‘PI©A$$o™’ project begins in the Museo de Altamira its tour of state museums within the framework of PEUE23.

Jul 9, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, the artist has created installations specially designed to dialogue with the pieces in each museum and to critically approach the Picasso phenomenon.

Tour of state museums

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The project kicks off at the Museum of Altamira from 7 July to 29 October, followed by the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology ARQVA in Cartagena from 19 July to 29 October.

In the second half of the year, the exhibition will be on display at the Museo Nacional de Escultura (Valladolid), the Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias ‘González Martí’ (Valencia), the Museo Nacional de Arte Romano (Mérida), the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática ARQVA (Cartagena), and the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática ARQVA (Cartagena).

In Madrid, it will visit the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, the Museo del Traje. CIPE, the Museo del Romanticismo and the Museo Cerralbo, as well as the Museo Fundación Lázaro Galdiano.

The ‘PI©A$$o™’ project is part of the cultural programme of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

As part of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, the Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira, a state museum belonging to the Ministry of Culture and Sport, today inaugurated the ‘PI©A$$o™’ project by Rogelio López Cuenca, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sport through the Subdirectorate General of State Museums, which forms part of the cultural programme of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Thus, the Cantabrian Museum becomes the first venue for this proposal, part of the complementary programme devised to mark the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death and which will be held in ten State Museums.

Specifically, the following museums under the direct management of the Ministry of Culture and Sport will host this project: the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology ARQVA, in Cartagena; the National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts ‘González Martí’, in Valencia; the National Museum of Sculpture, in Valladolid; the National Museum of Roman Art, in Mérida; and, in Madrid, the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Costume. CIPE, Museo Nacional del Romanticismo and the Museo Cerralbo, which are joined by the Museo Fundación Lázaro Galdiano.

Rogelio López Cuenca, winner of the 2022 National Plastic Arts Prize, proposes a series of museum installations designed specifically for each of the venues. The artist establishes a dialogue with the museum collections in order to critically approach the Picasso phenomenon, in which, in the words of López Cuenca, “the survival of features characteristic of the Romantic myth – in terms of the exaltation of the figure of the creative genius – and, on the other hand, features characteristic of the circulation and consumption of merchandise characteristic of late capitalism, where culture has come to occupy a hitherto unknown centrality”.

In this way, the exhibition proposals, which include both pieces from the artist’s archive and others created specifically for the occasion, are based on the characteristics of the museums (in terms of subject matter, material or techniques), in such a way that they relate to their museography discourses, “as if it were an intrusion, a noise similar to that caused by advertising”.

Specifically, in the Museo de Altamira López Cuenca relates the figure of the great bison, the museum’s quintessential image, with various pieces that allude both to the mythology of the Minotaur and to the tradition of bullfighting, both intimately interwoven in the popular imaginary around the figure of Picasso and his national identity. The exhibition can be visited from 7 July to 29 October.

A free newspaper project is completed with a publication in the form of a newspaper that will be available free of charge to visitors to the different venues of the project. It brings together a selection of articles by leading researchers and scholars both on Picasso’s work and on the diversity of ways in which the phenomenon of his contradictory fame unfolds and is consumed in contemporary society. The publication accompanies the process of contextualisation and reflection of the interventions in the different museums, with the aim of continuing after the exhibition project has been completed.

The authors of the different articles are, in addition to Rogelio López Cuenca himself, Paula Barreiro López, Isabel Bellido, Pepa Bueno Fidel, Helena Chávez Mac Gregor, Javier Cuevas del Barrio, Santiago Eraso Beloki, Ana García Alarcón, Francisco Godoy Vega, María Dolores Jiménez Blanco, Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Antonio Javier López, Txema Martín, Jorge Luis Marzo, Maite Méndez Baiges, Ángela Molina, Justo Navarro, Mariano de Santa Ana Pulido, Carlos Pardo, Rocío Robles Tardío and Elo Vega.

About the Picasso Celebration, 1973-2023The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 is organised by the Spanish National Commission for the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso and the Musée National Picasso-Paris, with the support in Spain of Telefónica. The governments of France and Spain agreed to work together on a programme of international scope through this Commission, which brings together the cultural and diplomatic administrations of the two countries and coordinates the joint actions of the French and Spanish Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs. In its first half, the programme has registered more than one million visitors to the 22 national and international exhibitions inaugurated, with shows in countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, the United States, Italy and Switzerland. Both the administrations and the state cultural institutions and the Picasso cities have complemented the official international programme with various activities with the same objective of celebrating the work of Pablo Picasso.


National Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Cartagena. 19 July – 29 October 2023

The installation consists of the dispersion, throughout the permanent collection, of a set of ‘Picasso’ (sic) brand diving instruments and material and the video ‘Opening Picasso’, which revolves around the inauguration of the Picasso Museum in Malaga in 2003, which coincided with a storm that caused the shipwreck and death of some thirty people; coincidentally migrants, like Picasso himself.

National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts González Martí
Valencia. 20 September 2023 – 28 January 2024Proposing a dialogue with the museum’s own collection, the installation is made up of a set of ceramic pieces and objects with a decorative or sumptuary function, whose inspiration is both Picasso’s artistic production and the figure of the artist himself as a character.

National Sculpture Museum
Valladolid. 28 September 2023 – 28 January 2024

In the space known as Rincón Rojo, the artist proposes a critical approach to a deep-rooted cliché of patriarchal culture, that of ‘the artist and the model’, of which, once again, both Picasso’s work and his personal history with regard to his ‘muses’ represent an archetypal example. In the Casa del Sol, meanwhile, the intervention will consist of the ‘infiltration’, within the collection of plaster casts, of a bust of the ‘hero’ Picasso, the mythical King Midas of 20th-century art.

National Museum of Roman Art
Mérida. 5 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

The installation proposes a reflection on the construction and legitimisation of the concept of authenticity, linked to the glory disputed by the different ‘holy places of Picasso’, in a struggle for the exploitation of the symbolic capital represented by his imprint as a fetish and as a relic.

Lázaro Galdiano Foundation Museum
Madrid. 19 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

In the history of 20th-century art, Picasso is undoubtedly capital figure. A polysemic term. In one of the most representative rooms of the museum, which houses works by Goya, Salvador Maella, Bayeu, Esteve or Paret and Alcázar, among others, a bust with the painter’s features is exhibited, a head that is also a piggy bank, a money box. The object is also known as a ‘thief box’.

National Museum of Decorative Arts
Madrid. 19 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

Installation throughout the permanent exhibition of dozens of ‘cagers’, recurring figures in the nativity scene tradition present in the museum itself. The pieces, from a project carried out in collaboration with Elo Vega (‘The Prodigal Son / El hijo pródigo’. Museu Picasso de Barcelona, 2019), have the artist’s face and are characterised with different garments and attributes alluding to the diversity of facets of the Picasso myth.

Museo del Traje – Ethnological Heritage Interpretation Centre
Madrid. 19 October 2023 – 14 January 2024

In the foyer of the museum, a mannequin wears the traditional Breton shirt. By having his photograph taken with this seafaring garment, Picasso turned it into a distinctive sign of his own personality, incorporating, with this simple gesture, a complex symbolic set of cultural references. A specially made video completes the installation.

Museum of Romanticism
Madrid. 19 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

A video addresses the Romantic roots of the myth of the genius artist and his popularity. The work is shown in one of the most scenographic rooms of the museum, which houses the Teatrino, a recreation of the façade of the Museum itself that allows the public to take a look at the scenes that took place there in order to better understand the 19th century.

Cerralbo Museum
Madrid. 19 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

On the museum’s entrance screen, interspersed with practical information about the museum, a video is projected that looks at one of the main contradictions of the figure of the artist amidst the noise of advertising and the role of art in post-industrial societies.