Picasso: A Cubist Commission in Brooklyn
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents an exhibition that explores a less known chapter of the Spanish painter, Picasso, where he explored and played with cubism.
In 1910 Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) embarked on a decorative commission for the Brooklyn residence of artist, collector, and critic Hamilton Easter Field (1873–1922), whom he had met in Paris the year before. The artist’s brief called for as many as eleven panels to line the walls of Field’s home library and form an enveloping aesthetic whole. The proposed room offered Picasso his first opportunity to move beyond easel painting and apply his radical Cubist style to decorative painting formats of challenging size and proportion. Working from his studio in France, the artist completed a group of figure and still life compositions, but the commission was never realized.
The exhibition is the first to present this little-known chapter of Picasso’s Cubist period and provides an occasion to consider Cubism in relation to decorative painting conventions and architectural space. It brings together six extant canvas panels and related works, as well as archival material on Field, Picasso, and the site of the commission.
Picasso: A Cubist Commission in Brooklyn is the second in a series of focused research exhibitions under the auspices of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art. This exhibition is a participant in the international Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s death.