Picasso Revealed by David Douglas Duncan, exhibition organized by the INBA
As part of the celebrations for the 80th Anniversary of the Palace of Fine Arts, the National Institute of Fine Arts organized an exhibition devoted to Picasso seen through the lens of David Douglas Duncan. Approximately, 280 pieces were exhibited, and included photography, painting, ceramics, engraving, sculpture, drawing and lithography.
Esrawe Studio had the privilege of developing the design and museography for this exhibition curated by Tatyana Franck de Maud’huy and Stephanie Ansari.
The need to show the extraordinary friendship that existed between the two artists led Esrawe Studio’s team to the first photo Duncan took of Picasso. An image of Picasso in the bathtub was the starting point of the exhibition and also the proof of first contact he had with David Douglas Duncan .
An invasive structure that inhabited longitudinally the National Hall recreated the space of creation in which this curious symbiosis between the two characters, La Californie, took place. The play of vain and walls, the accumulation of work, the perspective created and the materiality, reminded of the rooms of La Californie and allowed visitors to walk through them until they reached the most intimate portrait of Picasso’s life, captured by David Douglas Duncan.
Picasso Revealed by David Douglas Duncan was the first exhibition to show the work of two artists of the likes of Picasso and Duncan.
Through the museography the design team wanted to represent the intimate relationship Picasso and Duncan had with space, the relationship with the rooms at La Californie: study, house, coexistence space, cultural center, and cultural axis of Europe in many occasions.
They had to study the relationship of the pieces with the space, understand the possibilities that the museum offered, and find a way to articulate the different disciplines –museography, curatorship and design– in the same space creating a harmonious relationship.
It was very important to understand the logic followed by the curators and translate it into the language used by the design team to conduct their investigations, to make an analysis, to generate a diagnosis that solved the needs of the project and to address it through a design methodology. Obviously, the main intention was to exhibit the work of Duncan and Picasso in the best possible way.