This exhibition will provide an occasion for the public to discover or rediscover, among other works, the exceptional stage curtain by Picasso, La Dépouille du Minotaure en costume d’Arlequin [The Corpse of the Minotaur in Harlequin Costume], created by the artist in 1936 and donated by him to the city of Toulouse in 1965. It is only presented once every two years for conservation purposes.
Armed with this history, the theme of exile assumes its full meaning in this exhibition dedicated to Pablo Picasso. From March to August 2019, Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie Toulouse will present emblematic works by the artist, perfectly illustrating the history of the city of Toulouse and the Occitanie region.
The Republican exodus finds its roots in a long line of migrations between France and Spain, which began in the 12th century. La Retirada, the migratory phase of the republican exile began in 1939 and is the most memorable of these. Nearly 500 000 Spaniards fled the Spanish Civil War that began in 1936 and the pro-Franco regime, travelling to France over a two-week period. For all of those who had not given up the struggle against fascism, the proximity with Spain made Toulouse the preferred fallback base. Even though part of this population was to return to Spain after Franco’s victory was consummated, several hundreds of thousands of Spaniards settled definitively in France, and especially in Occitanie. The Spanish immigration linked to the Republican exile, brought with it a significant cultural contribution, making a profound historical, artistic, and political impact on the city of Toulouse. The future of the two trans-Pyrenean countries was thus modified. Toulouse, capital of the exodus, still bears its trace, as does the whole Occitanie region, as the site of shelter and migrant camps.
This project Picasso and the Exodus will be extended by complementary contemporary art exhibitions in the region and in Toulouse, which will follow the geography of the historical exile and contemporary migrations.