Picasso exhibition opens in Barnsley

Picasso Exhibition opening night at Lady Lever Art Gallery. Images by Gareth Jones

Visitors to Barnsley will be able to view ground breaking work by Picasso for free from this weekend.

An exhibition featuring 17 original linocut prints will open at the town centre’s newly transformed Cooper Gallery on Saturday (21st January).

The prints are on loan from the British Museum and it will be the first time that Picasso’s work has been shown in Barnsley.

The exhibition will run until April 29th and a series of educational talks and activities are planned to take place alongside it.

In 1950, Picasso visited Sheffield for an international peace conference. To mark the opening of the exhibition, Ian McMillan, Barnsley’s Poet Laureate, has crafted a poem titled ‘Picasso in Barnsley, 1950’ which imagines he also spent some time in Barnsley.

Ian is running a creative writing workshop at the Cooper Gallery on Monday 6th March, helping people to create poetry inspired by the exhibition. The event will form part of the Hear My Voice project led by Barnsley Museums.

Ian said: “I’m very excited about the Picasso artworks coming to Barnsley; it shows the dynamic cultural times we’re living through round here and that the town is becoming even more of an artistic and creative hub. Picasso in Barnsley? But of course!”

Other educational activities include school visits, expert talks, family workshops and events that aim to introduce people to the art of lino cutting.

The Picasso artworks, on tour from the British Museum for the first time, have already been on display in Liverpool. Barnsley was chosen as just one of three places in the country to host the exhibition, which will go on to be shown in Coventry.

The artworks featured include prints showing the development of two key Picasso prints: ‘Still life under the Lamp’ and ‘Jacqueline Reading’, which depicts the artist’s wife and muse, Jacqueline Roque.

Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for Place at Barnsley Council, said: “The exhibition is a great start to the new year for the Cooper Gallery. We hope people make the most of this rare opportunity to see these stunning pieces of artwork right here in Barnsley.”

‘Picasso Linocuts’ has been developed in partnership with the British Museum and the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool, with support from the Dorset Foundation.

For more information about the exhibition, talks and workshops visit www.barnsley-museums.com