Vestido de noche mostaza & Instrumentos de música sobre una mesa 1914

Art and fashion come together in the Picasso / Chanel exhibition

 Art and fashion come together in the Picasso / Chanel exhibition

Picasso / Chanel is an exhibition organized by the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in collaboration with Almine and Bernard RuizPicasso, Patrimoine de CHANEL and the Musée National Picasso in Paris, in addition to having the support of the CHANEL house itself, the Community of Madrid and Telefónica/ACE, sponsors of the Picasso Celebration 1973/2023.

The exhibition presents to the public the close relationship between two great geniuses of the last century: the dressmaker Gabrielle Chanel and the artist Pablo Picasso, through the exhibition of paintings and garments in which a great synergy between both creators can be observed, as well as the beautiful relationship between art and fashion.


Perhaps unknown to the vast majority, Picasso and Chanel began having a professional relationship fostered by Jean Cocteau, when he asked Picasso to make the curtains and Chanel to take care of the costumes for his work Antigone in 1922. This relationship was repeated twice years later when they returned to make materials for Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet, The Blue Train, with the Picasso painting, Two Women Running on the Beach as a backdrop and Chanel models.

However, before collaborating artistically, the two met in the spring of 1917, perhaps through Cocteau himself, and Chanel then maintained a good relationship with Pablo Picasso and Olga Jojlova, the Russian dancer who was the first wife of the painter from Malaga. Precisely, the Thyssen exhibition puts the portraits of Olga that Picasso painted in conversation with the models that Chanel was creating at the same time and that represented an enormous revolution for the universal history of fashion.

GrEaT innovaTors OF THE 20TH CENTURY 

Cubism was a real break for the art of the time and Picasso’s canvases, initially misunderstood works, were a reference for many of the artists who followed him. The Chanel style advocated comfort and sophistication by redesigning the feminine silhouette that came from suffocating corsets and rigid seams, employing humble fabrics and lighter, more flexible designs.

According to the Thyssen Museum, the direct comparison between Chanel’s designs and Picasso’s work evidences their formal kinship and the deep ties that unite their respective creations, the result of shared aspirations and influences, as well as mutual admiration, both contributing to the construction of the modern paradigm.

Remember that you have until January 15, 2023 to enjoy this magnificent opportunity to discover the deep influences that two personalities had respectively who changed the course of Universal Art History.


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