In 1910 Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) embarked on a decorative commission for the Brooklyn residence of artist, collector, and critic Hamilton Easter Field (1873–1922), whom he had met in Paris the year before. The artist’s brief called for as many as eleven panels to line the walls of Field’s home library and form an enveloping aesthetic whole. The proposed room offered Picasso his first opportunity to move beyond easel painting and apply his radical Cubist style to decorative painting formats of challenging size and proportion. Working from his studio in France, the artist completed a group of figure and still life compositions, but the commission was never realized.
The exhibition is the first to present this little-known chapter of Picasso’s Cubist period and provides an occasion to consider Cubism in relation to decorative painting conventions and architectural space. It brings together six extant canvas panels and related works, as well as archival material on Field, Picasso, and the site of the commission.
Accompanied by a catalogue.
Picasso: A Cubist Commission in Brooklyn is the second in a series of focused research exhibitions under the auspices of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art.
This exhibition and publication are made possible by the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
We thank the many lenders for their exceptional generosity, with special acknowledgment to the Musée National Picasso-Paris.
This exhibition is a participant in the international Celebration Picasso 1973-2023, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the artist's death.
Hamilton Easter Field worked to bring Brooklyn into the New York art world in the early 20th century—but his efforts have been overlooked.
Scholar and curator Anna Jozefacka discusses an unrealized decorative commission by Pablo Picasso intended for a Brooklyn residence.
Marquee: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Málaga 1881-1973 Mougins, France). Nude Woman, 1910. Oil on canvas, 73 ¾ x 24 in. (187.3 x 61 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Alisa Mellon Bruce Fund (1972.46.1) © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.