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Picasso at the Phillips

More than 70 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso.

A groundbreaking exhibition that provides new insight into the creative process of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) at the outset of his career, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period is at the Phillips Collection from February 26 through June 12, 2022. It is the first exhibition in Washington, DC, in 25 years to focus on the early works of this 20th century icon, just as he was beginning to define himself on the international stage.

Focusing on the years 1900–1904, the exhibition tells the story of how the young Spanish artist, then a fledgling painter in his late teens and early twenties, formulated his signature Blue Period style by engaging with the subject matter and motifs in specific works he encountered—by Old Masters and his contemporaries alike—as he moved between Barcelona and Paris. The Blue Period works in the exhibition reveal Picasso’s evolving and sometimes controversial approach to issues of sex, class, poverty, despair, charity, and female incarceration.

Presenting works from 30 international collections, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will feature more than 70 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso along with works by French and Spanish artists that he studied before and during the Blue Period.