A Picasso painting exhibited in a supermarket in Essonne to bring art closer to all audiences

Picasso’s canvas in a supermarket in Essonne (France) on June 9, 2021 (BENEDICTE ROBIN / RADIO FRANCE)

It sounds completely incongruous, but it is precisely made for. You have to imagine the painting Workshop by Pablo Picasso, painted in 1955, enthroned between the gardening department and the stands of promotional products, hung on a huge white background. It is as if the wall of the museum had been transported there, as it is, with the frame and its little explanatory label.

This Picasso was visible on Wednesday June 9 in an Auchan hypermarket in Essonne, somewhere between Vigneux-sur-Seine and Montgeron. Only Wednesday, because this loan is part of the device “One day, one work”, set up by the Center Pompidou, to which the painting belongs, to bring culture to those who are far from it.

So you had to do your shopping between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to come face to face with this masterpiece, an oil on canvas 116 centimeters high by 89 centimeters wide where the artist painted his studio when he was staying in Cannes. in the Alpes-Maritimes. We see in the first white a sculpted bust placed on a stool, on the left a chair and canvases. In the background we notice the window which overlooks the garden with its palm trees which remind us that we are in the south.

Moment of grace and beauty in the heart of a temple of mass distribution. The contrast is striking, customers from elsewhere are wondering. They ask if “it’s a real ?”, if it would not be a reproduction. The presence of several security guards makes them understand that it is not. So as reported France Blue Paris following the inauguration, several stop, park their trolleys and watch for long minutes. This is because we don’t go to the museum every day, some have never even seen a Picasso.

The goal, explains the Center Pompidou, is to make art accessible, not to restrict it to the heart of Paris alone, and to take the works out of their ordinary exhibition space. To do this, the Museum of Modern Art will also open an annex in 2025, precisely in Essonne, in Massy.

We could say to ourselves: “that’s good, but why a supermarket?” There are still other places of passage! But precisely: other works were also presented in an ephemeral way, for a day, by the Center Pompidou, at Fleury-Mérogis prison for example or at the Bobigny court.
The next exhibition will take place on July 3 at the Brel-Brassens social center in Evry-Courcouronnes.

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