Picasso, Braque & Léger
October 6, 2019, to January 5, 2020
GLENS FALLS, New York—Many words come to mind upon hearing the names Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Fernard Léger — Cubism, friendship, Modern art, innovation. But poetry, literature, and theater are not usually among them.
Picasso, Braque & Léger: Twentieth Century Modern Masters, which opens October 6 at The Hyde Collection, explores their shared loved of the printed word.
This exhibition of more than 100 prints by the three Modern masters examines their relationships with post-World War II writers, playwrights, and poets, and the artists’ dedication to creating imagery that interpreted modern texts.
All three artists, lured by the city’s rich history and thriving culture, moved to Paris, the center of the art world. There, Picasso (1881–1973) and Braque (1882–1963) began to experiment with their artwork, ultimately initiating Cubism. They were joined by Léger (1881–1955), and the trio ushered in the art movement, which shattered traditional depiction of the natural world at one moment in time and space from a single vantage point. The effects were felt throughout Europe, impacting painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and literature.
Throughout their lives, Picasso, Braque, and Léger each became synonymous with the development of Modern art. But even as their styles diverged, all three men loved books and, at some point in their careers, planned, designed, and illustrated them, reclaiming illustration as a form of fine art from the hands of the narrative illustrator.
The results are chronicled in Picasso, Braque & Léger, a well-balanced selection of important prints that display each artist’s personal articulation in response to language.
“To look at the impact of the written world through three of the greatest minds of Modern art is really an incredible experience,” said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming. “This exhibition includes Picasso’s illustration of Fernand’s Crommelynck’s Le Cocu Magnifique; Léger’s artwork for Arthur Rimbaud’s collection of poems, Les Illuminations; and Braque’s illustrations that accompany Louis Broder’s Le tir à l’arc — it’s such a gift to see the visual interpretations offered by these artists.”
Picasso, Braque & Léger runs through January 5, 2020, in Wood and Whitney-Renz Galleries.
To compliment the exhibition, The Hyde is collaborating with Crandall Public Library to offer a selection of books in Wood Gallery. The initiative is fueled by the success of The Hyde’s in-gallery guide program, in which Museum educators develop a Family Discovery Kit and a Gallery Guide with activities and information that supplement the exhibition. During the Museum’s last Wood Gallery exhibition, From the Rooftops: John Sloan and the Art of a New Urban Space, more than 800 visitors used the two publications.
For Picasso, Braque & Léger, Hyde educators and Crandall Public Library’s head of children’s services, Pam Frazier, selected books for all ages that will enhance the Museum visitor experience and provide new ways to relate to the works of art exhibited.
“We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Jenny Hutchinson, The Hyde’s curator of Museum education and programming. “We know that everyone processes information and experiences artwork differently. The success of our in-guide galleries tells us that people want to learn more about what they’re seeing on our walls and we’re so grateful to Crandall Library for helping us provide a really fun, accessible way to offer them tools to do so.”
Picasso, Braque & Léger: Twentieth Century Modern Masters is organized by Contemporary and Modern Print Exhibitions, and sponsored by Marvin & Company, P.C.; Mr. and Mrs. Karl E. Seitz; Silverwood Home & Galleries; and Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.