Hannah Gadsby on Pablo Picasso’s Legacy

Australian comedian, writer, actor and now curator Hannah Gadsby is collaborating with the Brooklyn Museum on a new exhibition titled, ‘It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby’ which will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Picasso’s death.

Left: Pablo Picasso 1920, Estate of Pablo Picasso, Artists Rights Society, New York. Right: Hannah Gadsby, 2018, Photo by Alan Moyle.

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was a renowned modern artist whose work has been celebrated for a long time by art historians, art collectors, institutions, and the art viewing public around the world. His creativity and the artist’s personal life have been canonised in popular culture, as well as criticised. Gadsby has been a critic ‘Picasso said, “You can have all the perspectives at once!” What a hero. But tell me, are any of those perspectives a woman’s? Well, then I’m not interested.’

In this exhibition Gadsby and the Brooklyn Museum examine Picasso’s ‘complicated legacy through a critical, contemporary, and feminist lens, even as it acknowledges his work’s transformative power and lasting influence.’

The show will continue the conversation Gadsby began with their Netflix show ‘Nanette’. As the ABC reported Gadsby presented Picasso as someone who was a ‘misogynist, abused women, and is emblematic of a problematic, romanticised mythology that has developed around the “artist-muse” relationship.’

Now, in the museum context Gadsby introduces Picasso’s work in juxtaposition with other artists’ work including women artists such as Cecily Brown, Renee Cox, Käthe Kollwitz, Dindga McCannon, Ana Mendieta, Marilyn Minter, Joan Semmel, Kiki Smith, May Stevens, and Mickalene Thomas. The visual presentation will be accompanied by an audio-tour from Gadsby that offers a sharp critique and incisive humorous commentary.

‘It’s Pablo-matic’ is on view from June 2 through to September 24, 2023 at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Check out further details here.