‘Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses’ opens at the Art Museum

"Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses" just opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia
“Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses” just opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Nora Lambert arrived at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a focus on the art of the Renaissance, but her Curatorial Fellowship took her in an unexpected direction. Curator John Ittmann encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone and explore something a little more modern.

“I generally don’t look at art that was made past the year 1700,” Lambert said. “But when I got here John said, ‘We’re going to fix that.’”

Skipping ahead a few centuries as she pored over the museum’s immense collection of prints, Lambert gradually focused her attention on early 20th-century Europe, and eventually to the prints of Pablo Picasso. The museum holds almost 300 Picasso prints and works on paper in its permanent collection, so even that was a daunting project. But within this alien terrain Lambert soon found some familiar themes emerging.

“Once we decided on Picasso we realized that there was this really interesting theme in which Picasso keeps returning to classical antiquity in a much more deliberate and personal way than I think a lot of people realize,” Lambert explained during a tour of the resulting exhibition, “Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses.”

“Most people have no idea that classical mythology was such a huge part of his body of work. So we settled on the topic not just for the alliteration but also because Picasso was very inspired by a trip he took to Italy in 1917, which sparked this grand interest in mythology and classical antiquity.”

The exhibition, which includes nearly 50 prints, begins in the 1920s but centers on the 1930s, as the legendary artist began to turn classical themes into ruminations on his own life, adopting the Minotaur as a bull-headed alter ego. Much of the work deals with the love triangle between Picasso, his wife Olga Khokhlova, and his young mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. At times the three play out scenes from mythology; at others their relationship is depicted as a contorted bullfight.

“Picasso takes antiquity and clearly he’s absorbed everything. He’s just a sponge,” Lambert said. “He takes all this knowledge he’s acquired about ancient art and mythology and infuses it with his personal life. He blends the two and starts to turn his own life into a mythological drama to work out what’s going on in his personal life. And if you know anything about Picasso, he had a very active personal life.”

‘Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses’ 
Through Aug. 3
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th St. and Ben Franklin Pkwy.
$14-$20, 215-763-8100


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.