Frauen is not only the most expensive exhibition in the history of the Pinothek der Moderne, but also one of the most intriguing and provocative events on the Munich arts scene this spring. The exhibition focuses on three 20th-century icons - Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann and Willem de Kooning - and their relationships with women. Picasso's ambitious gallery of women's portraits resembles a miniature retrospective of his art. Although the claim that the artist's styles changed together with his mistresses is seen to be a cliché, it is not without merit. Women have always been at the heart of Picasso's work, their images also serving as a medium for his world view. Of note in the exhibition are Dryad (1908), whose source of inspiration was Picasso's first mistress Fernande Oliver, and Olga Picasso (1923), the portrait of his first wife. There is also the scandalous La Pisseuse (1965), in which the 84-year-old Picasso depicts his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, who is 46 years younger, urinating on the beach.
Max Beckmann, on the other hand, passionately worshipped and respected his second wife, Quappi von Kaulbach, portraying her as a restrained, always composed woman, who was in control of any situation. Willem de Kooning, for his part, had only one wife, but many affairs, and so did his wife Elaine. While his mother was an extravagant bar owner in Rotterdam, the women he painted in portraits were grotesque and wild. At one time, the artist remarked that he could just as well interchange himself with the women in his paintings. When asked why he painted women, de Kooning replied, "I guess because I'm not a woman. There isn't so much difference between a man and a woman when you paint them."
The exhibition has over 90 works from various prestigious art institutions and private collections.
Keywords: Munich, exhibition