Photo by Johnell Pannell on Unsplash
Apr 11, 2023
Hannah Gadsby is … curating a Picasso exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum?
The comedian, who went viral in 2018 for their criticisms of the Spanish painter, said the exhibit will explore his "complicated legacy"
Comedian Hannah Gadsby has a complicated relationship with Pablo Picasso. The comedian and cultural observer famously criticized the iconic Spanish artist’s misogynist behavior in a Netflix special a few years ago.
Now, it’s time for round two.
The comic, whose 2018 stand-up special “Nanette” was a viral sensation, is curating a new exhibit called “It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby” at the Brooklyn Museum this summer, which will examine the “artist’s complicated legacy through a critical, contemporary, and feminist lens, even as it acknowledges his work’s transformative power and lasting influence.”
More than 100 works will be on display, by Picasso and also high-profile women artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. An audio tour narrated by Gadsby aims to answer “complex questions around misogyny, creativity, the art-historical canon, and ‘genius’.”
In Gadsby’s 2018 special, the comic eviscerated Picasso for his sexual affair with a 17-year-old girl, which inspired some of his paintings but isn’t often discussed in his exhibits. Gadsby called him a “passionate, tormented, genius, man-ballsack” and joked about Cubism, the movement he pioneered: “All the perspectives at once! Any of those perspectives a woman’s? No! You just put a kaleidoscope filter on your cock.”
The stand-up special even sparked questions if the artist should be “cancelled,” though Brooklyn Museum curators Catherine Morris and Lisa Small responded by saying if the goal was to cancel him, they wouldn’t be holding this show.
“We’re not tearing him down. We wouldn’t be putting his works on the wall if we were dismissing him or saying he’s irrelevant,” Small told the Guardian.
The exhibit is part of a “global presentation” of events marking the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death. Brooklyn Museum’s, uh, tribute, begins on June 2 and runs through September 24.
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