San Francisco's de Young Museum reopens with Picasso exhibition

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The March reopening of San Francisco's de Young Museum after a COVID-induced shutdown is more than a fresh start for the community.

It is a chance for thousands of visitors to view our complicated world through fresh eyes in a groundbreaking exhibition on Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder.

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The show has been organized by the grandsons of famed artist Picasso and his lesser-known American contemporary Calder.

"They realized in conversation how many connections there were between the goals interests and aspirations of these two men, Calder and Picasso," says Timothy Anglin Burgard, senior curator of the de Young Museum.

In some ways, the artists are shadowy reflections of one another.

Calder worked mostly with delicate mobiles and wiry shapes in his illustrious career.

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Thin ribbons frame the space around the artist's works, a feature that draws the audience's eye to similar stark lines in Picasso's abstract works.

"This is about the poetry of seeing a beautiful Calder mobile spinning in the air above you, next to a Picasso painting that has very similar elements and very similar interests," says Anglin Burgard.

"In a way, it's a form of theater," the curator adds. "And every juxtaposition, every decision, placement, lighting, juxtaposition of the objects all have a great impact on how we view the exhibition."

The de Young staff hope the draw of Picasso will have a major impact on the museum's immediate future.

They believe the show has a chance to help the museum recover financially from the months of closures, especially when coupled with a separate simultaneous exhibition of beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

"And really the only way to retain our staff and keep bringing these great exhibitions to the Bay Area, and support the local community which is what we're really about," says de Young communications director Miriam Newcomer.

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With the museum operating at 25% capacity, for now, visitors will move around with plenty of room to appreciate the interplay of images, and two great artists brought together in a new light.

"And to give us new hope, and all of us need that in these times," Anglin Burgard adds.

Reservations are required to visit the Picasso-Calder exhibit.
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