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SALON NUMBER 2

Picasso and his students - Curated by Nicolas Trembley - January 2012

“We, the painters, are the true heirs, those who continue to paint. We are heirs to Rembrandt, Velázquez, Cézanne, Matisse. A painter always has a father and a mother; he doesn’t emerge out of nothing”. Pablo Picasso

This quote from Picasso illustrates the dynamic at the heart of his practice: keeping the artworks of the past alive by alluding to them in his work. For him, the movement between past and present is reciprocal: contemporary artists exist thanks to those of the past to which they refer, and they in turn continue to exist thanks to those in the present.

“To me there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot always live in the present, it must not be considered at all. The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times is not an art of the past: perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was”. Pablo Picasso

Forty years after his death, Picasso’s art is perhaps more alive today than it ever was. A new generation of multidisciplinary artists has started to appropriate him, measure up to him, draw inspiration from his work and so continue to keep it alive.

While Picasso regularly claimed to have borrowed from Ingres, David or Renoir, and continued to pay homage to Velázquez, Titian or Rembrandt in his late series, such as the “Musketeers”, few contemporary artists had yet taken possession of his own work.

This legacy was probably not easy to carry: it was too heavy, too vast, too powerful. So popular for so long, Picasso’s art was questioned by defiant artistic movements such as minimal or conceptual art. These dissenters emerged in the second half of the twentieth century with the aim of shattering established conceptions of art and challenging painting. One had to cut oneself loose, distance oneself from this dominant figure, this father figure, to be able to return to his work a few decades later.

Martin Kippenberger paved the way in the late 1980s, even imagining works which the Master would have painted after his death. Today, artists under the age of 40 such as Thomas Houesago or Joe Bradley regularly mention him as a major source of inspiration for their practice.

This third edition of the FABA Salon aims to update the links that unite today’s artists with the tutelary figure of Picasso. Some connections are of a purely formal nature while others engage in a more complex dialogue with this legacy.

A student of the old Masters, Picasso has since become one of the contemporary Masters for twenty-first-century artists.


NicolasTrembley_biography_EN.pdf - pdf
NicolasTrembley_biography_FR.pdf - pdf