Postcard from Malaga, Spain: Bits glimpsed in a final few museums

Banner on Palacio Episcopal promoting Ars Malaga exhibition of polychrome sculpture by Pedro de Mena (1628-1688)

Combining a few images from some remaining museums representing the diversity of the city’s offerings from a private 18th-century house museum containing a private Coleccion del Vidrio y Cristal to the only four-year-old impressive Coleccion del Museo Ruso showcasing works on loan from St. Petersburg in a former tobacco factory.

And there are museums with exhibits where no photographs were allowed. Several of these are dedicated to Malaga’s favorite son, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

From a white father and a small glass of water of Andalusian life was I born. Born from a mother, daughter of a daughter aged fifteen from the district of Percheles in Malaga, that beautiful bull that engendered my forehead crowned with jasmines.

Pablo Picasso, 1936

He was born in a home on Plaza Merced, now a house museum, Museo Casa Natal. Although the last time Picasso was known to visit the city of his birth was in 1901, purportedly he always held affection for Malaga. Receiving a commitment from Andalusian authorities to construct a museum, a daughter-in-law and grandson of Picasso donated work that makes up the core of the collection of the Fundacion Museo Picasso Malaga in 2009. The works are now housed in the Palacio de los Condes de Buenavista, a Renaissance building with Mudejar elements, and adjacent new construction.

The Olga Picasso exhibition there, which closed in June, was among my favorites of the trip. The exhibition pairs period paintings by Pablo Picasso paired with letters and personal photographs a grandson found in Olga’s portmanteau.

Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955) was born in the Ukraine but left when she joined the Ballets Russes under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929). Pablo Picasso was working on the décor and costumes for one of the ballet productions when he encountered the young dancer in Rome in 1917. They married in Paris in 1918 and had one child, Paul.

In the first years of their marriage, Olga often served as the model for his work. His increasingly unflattering depictions of her reflected the deterioration of their relationship. And, by 1927, Picasso had a new muse attract his interest, Marie-Therese Walter (1909-1977).

Picasso’s first marriage resulted in a separation in 1935, but the couple never divorced. Olga continued to follow him around with Paul in tow and wrote letters to her estranged husband almost daily. All unanswered.

 

 

Postcard from Malaga, Spain: Street Art, Part IV

Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.

Banksy

Sharing a final set of snapshots of art sighted on walls around Malaga.

Click here to view Part I.

Click here to view Part II.

Click here to view Part III.

Click here for post about Banksy exhibition.

Postcard from Malaga, Spain: Centro de Arte Contemporaneo

Yet one more contribution to the explosion of art museums in Malaga, the Contemporary Art Museum opened in a spacious former wholesale market house in 2003.

Some of the works pictured are from the permanent collection; others are from a temporary exhibition open while we were there, “Make Something Different.” The show spotlights the resurfacing of Pop Art reinterpreted through the eyes of a new generation merging influences of “cartoons, animation, games, music, underground culture and advertising design.”

I had not realized the museum’s proximity to two enormous building-size murals pictured in the prior blog post on street art in Malaga was no mere coincidence. The poster above indicates that works by artists D’Face and Shepard Fairey – “managing quality dissent since 1989” – were featured in a two-person show in 2015. On his website, D’Face describes the luxury of large-scale:

Whoever said that size doesn’t matter? As an artist working in a world of image saturation through mass media, it’s always been important for me to make art that stands out from the crowd – nothing does that quite like a mural. From Los Angeles to Tokyo, every wall I’ve ever encountered presented a unique challenge, its own concrete personality. There’s nothing quite like stepping back from a wall you’ve had to do battle with for a week and seeing your vision come to life. They’re big, they’re bold and they’re downright badass….