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The exhibition Picasso: Peace and Freedom shows the twentieth century’s most important painter from a hitherto almost unknown perspective, the Albertina presents Pablo Picasso as a politically and socially committed artist. In this image: Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Skull, Leeks and Pitcher, 14 March 1945. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

The exhibitions hows the twentieth century’s most important painter from a hitherto almost unknown perspective: in cooperation with Tate Liverpool, the Albertina presents Pablo Picasso as a politically and socially committed artist, thereby questioning the common image of this genius of a century. Assembling some two hundred exhibits from more than sixty international collections, the exhibition illustrates within a historical review and in chronological order how Picasso responded to the war and its atrocities in his art. The exhibition’s scope ranges from Picasso as a history painter and his key motif of the Dove of Peace – one of the most important symbols of hope and the most famous emblem of the Peace Movement – to his still lifes, which contain subtle and hidden commentaries on global events, as well as hints of Picasso’s political attitude.

This exhibition has been curated by Tate Liverpool, with the Albertina acting as a co-organizer

The Albertina will extend its opening hours for its major autumn shows Picasso: Peace and Freedom and Michelangelo. The Drawings of a Genius. The exhibitions will be accessible from 10 am to 7 pm from Thursday to Tuesday and from 10 am to 9 pm on Wednesdays.

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Pablo Picasso, The Charnel House, Paris 1944-1945. Oil and charcoal on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art New York. Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn Bequest (by exchange) and Mrs. Marya Bernard Fund in memory of her husband Dr. Bernard Bernard and anonymous funds. © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010 © 2009 Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art New York/Scala, Florence. The Museum of Modern Art New York © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010 © 2009 Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art New York/Scala, Florence

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Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Candlestick , 8 April 1944 © Collection Centre Pompidou, Dist. RMN / Jacqueline Hyde © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, Black Jug and Skull , 1946. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.08

Pablo Picasso, Composition, 1948. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, Goats Skull, Bottle and Candle, 1952. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, Goats Head , 14 May 1952. Albertina, Vienna © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, Dove in Flight in Rainbow, 23 October 1952. Photo © Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, Germany © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, Dove (La Colombe), 1949. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso, The Flying Dove (Die Taube im Flug), 9 July 1950. Albertina, Vienna © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010.

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Pablo Picasso,  Woman in an Armchair No.1 (The Polish Cloak) (Femme au fauteuil No.1 (Le Manteau polonaise)), 1949. Tate © Succession Picasso / VBK, Wien 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  The Studio, 1955. Oil on canvas. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  The Rape of the Sabine Women (after David), Mougins, 2-4 November 1962. Oil on canvas. Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010. Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel

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Pablo Picasso,  The Rape of the Sabine Women (after David), Mougins, 4-5 and 8 November 1962. Oil on canvas. © Collection Centre Pompidou, Dist. RMN / Christian Bahier / Philippe Migeat © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  Lobster and Cat, January 11, 1965. Oil on Canvas. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser

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Pablo Picasso,  Naked Woman with Bird and Flute Player, 9 November 1967. Oil on canvas. Albertina, Vienna © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  Head of a Young Boy, 1945. Litograph on paper. Tate © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  Flute Player and Female Nude, 21 October 1970. Oil  on canvas. Private collection © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso, 2. Weltfriedenskongress (Second World Peace Congress, Sheffield), 1950. Poster. Albertina, Vienna © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso, Small Dove, March 1949. Lithograph. Sprengel Museum, Hannover © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso, Dove with Olive Branch, 28 December 1961. Colour lithograph on paper, print. Courtesy Saint-Denis - Musée d'art et d'histoire und Irène Andréani © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso, Still life with Guitar, 1942. Oil on canvas. Albertina, Vienna © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

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Pablo Picasso,  Women with a Dove (Femmes à la colombe), 1955. Indian ink on paper. © Collection Centre Pompidou, Dist. RMN / Droits reserves © Succession Picasso/VBK, Vienna 2010

In 1944, Picasso became a member of the French Communist Party, whose figure head he remained until the end of his life. Yet his political thinking was entirely molded by his desire for peace and freedom. During those years, he painted, drew, and lithographed his famous image of the white dove, which turned into a global symbol of freedom and a human society that did not only look back on two World Wars, but was also confronted with such imminent catastrophes as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Fifty paintings and one hundred drawings, as well as numerous historical documents, will highlight Picasso as a political figure and thus present a hitherto neglected, but nevertheless crucial chapter in the life of this exceptional artist.