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aprile 18, 2018 - Kunsmuseum Basel

Art. Money. Museum | The Picasso Story, 50 Years Later

Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale. 

Art. Money. Museum
The Picasso Story, 50 Years Later 

March 10–August 12, 2018, #kunstmuseumbasel | Hauptbau Curator: Eva Reifert 

2018 brings the fiftieth anniversary of the first presentation of the complete set of works by #pablopicasso that the #kunstmuseumbasel had acquired in 1967. We celebrate this occasion with an extended presentation of art from our collections. Taking our treasured Picassos as its point of departure, the exhibition takes a look behind the scenes of the Kunstmuseum’s collections then and now and revisits the issues that animated the debate in 1967–68—issues that have lost none of their urgency. 

In 1967, Picasso’s Les deux frères and Arlequin assis were to be offered for sale on the international market. The people of #basel approved the allocation of CHF 6 million of taxpayer funds and raised another CHF 2 million during a “beggars’ festival,” enabling the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung #basel, the municipal art collection of #basel, to purchase the two paintings. Picasso was so moved that he donated four more works to the city. The exhibition Art. Money. Museum. The Picasso Story, 50 Years Later takes a fresh look back at the events, bringing the various players into focus who secured these works that have become anchors of the collection’s identity: now as then, the museum’s development depends on an ongoing dialogue between citizenry, artists, the director, the board of trustees, and patrons. 

Then and now 

“Which art makes it into the museum?” This question, which figured prominently in the debate surrounding the Picasso acquisitions, still suggests the tensions between criteria of artistic quality and the museum’s financial abilities and needs as well as questions concerning the relationship between the local public and its art museum that are as relevant as ever. Art. Money. Museum opens with a section that brings the events of 1967–68 back to life with large- format photographs by Kurt Wyss, a compilation of selected archival materials on media tables, and other exhibits—and, needless to say, the Picassos. 

These historic statements are then contrasted with the voices of recent visitors to the Kunstmuseum and artists living and working in #basel today, as well as a fictional conversation between the erstwhile director of the museum Franz Meyer and his current successor, Josef Helfenstein, staged on several screens. Each in its own way, these installations draw connections between the Picasso acquisitions and questions around art, money, and the museum that are topical today. The ensemble of the Picassos first displayed in 1968 forms the heart of the exhibition; embedded in the context of the contention over art and museum strategies, the works once again prove their timelessly arresting presence. 

The “Picasso Story” is rounded out by a program of events that offers plenty of opportunities for lively conversation in a variety of formats, underscoring the project’s dialogical quality. 

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with teamstratenwerth and Emyl. 

With support from:
Stiftung zur Förderung der Lebensqualität in #basel und Umgebung Foundation for the Kunstmuseum Basel 

#kunstmuseumbasel | Hauptbau, St. Alban-Graben 16, 4052 Basel