Picasso Exhibition Stops in Hong Kong


The biggest exhibition of Pablo Picasso's works ever held in Hong Kong opens Saturday, featuring 55 pieces from the Musee National Picasso in Paris covering every phase of the artist's career.

The exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from May 19 to July 22 includes work from his Blue, Rose and Cubist periods as well as Neoclassical and Expressionist pieces, the organizers said.

Musee National Picasso chairwoman Anne Baldassari said she was excited to show the work in China. The exhibition has already been shown in Shanghai and Chengdu.

"In Shanghai it was very important ... because it was the first Picasso show in China," she told Agence France Presse as the pieces were unpacked and mounted in the Heritage Museum at Sha Tin.

"It was a very strong discovery for the Chinese public."

Baldassari said interest in the exhibition among Chinese visitors reflected the growing appreciation of Western art among Chinese collectors and dealers.

"Picasso was very impressed by the way Chinese painters were considering art as a language and painting as a sign, and not as a representation," she said.

"Because he was fighting against the idea of representation, he was always looking at Chinese painting (and) African sculpture as a main reference.

"He was deeply convinced that Chinese painting and African sculpture were bringing something into France -- a new approach, maybe not new, a very different approach."

The Picasso exhibition is on a world tour while the Musee National Picasso is closed for renovation. It has already visited the United States and Australia.

Hong Kong has emerged as a major center of international art in recent years, with this week's Hong Kong International Art Fair expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors and hundreds of dealers from around the world.

Prestigious Western galleries such as Gagosian, White Cube and Acquavella have recently opened franchises in the semi-autonomous southern city in a bid to tap the exploding Chinese market for high-end art.

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