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Major Picasso exhibition opening at the AGO in June 2020


This summer the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will present a major exhibition on Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period (1901-1904). Co-organized by the AGO and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Picasso: Painting the Blue Period runs from June 27 to Sept. 20, 2020.
Picasso’s Blue Period is one of the most celebrated episodes of the artist’s career and of 20th-century modernism. Absorbing the artistic lessons of the French avant-garde during his second visit to Paris in 1901 before confronting the social and political climate of an economically struggling Barcelona in 1902-1904, Picasso, during this formative stage of his artistic development, created paintings, sculptures and works on paper that captured and probed modern life and its many discontents.
Curated by Dr. Susan Behrends Frank of The Phillips Collection and Kenneth Brummel, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Modern Art, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will include approximately 65 works of art by Picasso as well as a discrete selection of works by other artists that the young Spaniard would have known and studied. Featuring major international loans from private collections and public institutions in North America, Europe, Japan and Israel, this is the first exhibition on Picasso’s Blue Period to be mounted in Canada. The last major Picasso show to be organized or co-organized by a Canadian institution was in 1964 when Jean Sutherland Boggs mounted her landmark exhibition Picasso and Man at what was then the Art Gallery of Toronto (subsequently the AGO).
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will mark the culmination of a multi-year international research project on the AGO’s two Blue Period paintings. Led by Brummel and the AGO’s former Senior Paintings Conservator Sandra Webster-Cook, research conducted at the AGO was profiled in 2017 in The New York TimesThe Art Newspaper and The Guardian.
A richly illustrated catalogue published in association with Prestel/Delmonico and edited by Dr. Susan Behrends Frank and Kenneth Brummel will accompany the exhibition, featuring contributions by the exhibition’s curators, leading international Picasso scholars and the painting conservators of The Phillips Collection and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
More information about Picasso: Painting the Blue Period will be announced at a later date.
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period is co-organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

Lead Sponsor

Lead Support
Michael & Sonja Koerner
Latner Family Foundation

Supporting Sponsor
Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Generous Support
Juta K. Reed
Elizabeth Tory

Generous Assistance
Audrey & David Mirvish


Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO Collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. Its 585,000 square foot building was most recently expanded in 2008 by Frank Gehry, and attracts approximately one million visits per year. A new pricing model, launching May 25, 2019, offers all visitors 25 and under free, unlimited admission; a $35 Annual Pass includes entry for an entire year. Visit to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.

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