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What is Cubism?

Visitors to The Dalí can learn more about the genre by creating their own portrait in Cubism style through an artificial intelligence experience called “YOUR PORTRAIT.”  Sit in front of an LCD screen and tap to capture your head shot.  While your face is being mercilessly distorted and colorized  (not for the faint of heart), your mouth moves to your forward,  your eyes tilt sideways and your nose becomes your ear. But it’s great fun as you learn fun facts about Cubist imagery, compositions and color palettes. Your new visage can be texted or e-mailed, so you can share with friends and family.  

Top photo, Pablo Picasso Posing Next to “Couple” (1967), purchased from Kurt Wyss/2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Musee national Picasso-Paris

Picasso At The Dali

A new exhibit at The Dali explores the career of the legendary father of Cubism.

By Marcia Biggs

Kitchen + Bath

Renovations + Designs + Installation

It’s not often that the American public gets the opportunity to see a major exhibit of exclusively Picasso works, which is why The Dali’s Picasso and the Allure of the South, is so important and impressive. The Musée national Picasso-Paris has loaned out nearly all of the 79 painting, drawings and collages, almost half of which have never been seen in the U.S.  The Dali is the only venue worldwide to present the exhibition. Impressed yet?

This is the second major exhibition featuring Picasso work at The Dali, the first being in late 2014-early 2015 when 20 international museums and private collections loaned over 80 works for Picasso/Dali, Dali/Picasso. That exhibit presented works of the two masters side by side, showing the individual vision and creative force that made them two of the most influential modern artists of our time.

In this presentation, we are treated to an all-Picasso show, one that demands study and attention as it takes you through the many stages of a complex yet legendary artist.

The famed 20th century master Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain, creating a voluminous archive of work before dying in 1973 at the age of 92. He received artistic training from his father, a traditional artist and instructor, starting at the age of 7. Picasso was a prolific painter, sculptor, poet and ceramist; some estimates claim he produced an estimated 50,000 artworks during his lifetime.  He is probably best known for his mural masterpiece Guernica (1937), his powerful political statement in reaction to the Nazi’s bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

Picasso moved frequently between Spain and France, but some of his most creative periods took place during summer sojourns in the south of France along the Mediterranean Coast and in northern Spain. The artist was inspired by the regions’ geography, history, cultures and customs. This exhibit is filled with portraits and still lifes, figural studies and landscapes he produced dating from 1909 to 1973. It also includes interesting archival photographs of Picasso, his friends and his life.


Picasso was a pioneer of the Cubism movement that explored geometric shapes in the context of painting. His artistic style changed throughout his career, but he always maintained a unique insight into the human condition.  His style was characterized by bold, contoured lines and distorted proportions, merging the representational and abstract and challenging traditional concepts of art. 

The Dali exhibit follows the artist’s evolution through time, and is divided into four themes. The Birth of Cubism features a selection of drawings and collages that show Picasso’s early experimentation and the evolution of Cubism. From Cubism to Realism examines Picasso’s shift to a more playful approach to Cubist idioms. He dallies in unconventional  portraits and landscapes, and architectural paintings that appear illogical in form.   

In the third section, Corridas de Sud (bullfighting), we see Picasso’s fascination with the sport though a series of intricate sketches and collages, even a ceramic plate by the artist. The gallery is presented in brilliant orange and draws in the viewer with a mounted bull head and  cape above a mural photograph of legendary Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin with whom Picasso was infatuated. 

 The exhibition concludes with Surrealism and Beyond, when Picasso’s painting turned to the unconscious and the impulsive. The artist was drawn to music and musicians, and especially the guitar which are often themes.  Images of couples embracing became important to the aging artist. A final self-portrait, Le Baiser (The Kiss, 1969),  shows the artist, old and balding, in an embrace with his second wife Jacqueline Roque.

For the serious student of art masters,  Picasso and the Allure of the South should not be missed.

Picasso and the Allure of the South continues through May. 22. Advance-purchase timed tickets are required to visit The Dali, go to

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