What is a masterpiece? The word is often used to describe something that is deemed to be the ultimate embodiment of skill and craftsmanship. ART. Miami, here is your chance to see the most influential visual artist of the 20th century on display thanks to Emily Fisher Landau. PAMM is thrilled to present Femme à la montre, a 1932 masterpiece by Pablo Picasso.
The famed portrait, on loan from Landau whose husband purchased it for less than a cool million in the ‘60s, is one of the most revered subjects in the artist’s paintings—his muse and lover Marie-Therese Walter. It is also Landau’s favorite piece in her entire art collection, and PAMM is lucky to have it.
But who exactly was Marie-Therese Walter? Let’s take it back to January 1927.
Walter, then 17, and a married Picasso, 28 years her senior, met in front of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Enamored by her interesting face, the Spanish artist expressed interest in creating a portrait of the teenager, and invited her to model for him. Walter’s curvaceous figure was strikingly different from Picasso’s wife Olga Khokhlova, a Ukraninan ballet dancer. For the next ten years, the voluptuous and sensual images of Walter that Picasso created mark a departure from his Cubist phase, in which images of figures were contorted as if seen from several angles at once. Some speculate these angles in the paintings were acknowledging the double life the couple led. In Femme à la montre, the softness of Walter’s figure and the hardness of the chair in which she sits are synthesized into one full image, while the unmistakably clear eye that gazes out at the viewer suggests Walter’s inner life.
Our institution, supporters, and staff have a history with the artist’s work that dates back over three decades. From November 19, 1985 through March 9, 1986, Picasso at Work at Home: Selections from the Marina Picasso Collection was at the Center for Fine Arts (CFA). During that time, arts advocate, philanthropist, and longtime PAMM supporter Patricia M. Papper served on CFA’s board of trustees that helped bring the show to the Magic City with the help of Terry Vento, PAMM’s current general counsel. Vento became involved with CFA in 1985 when her then law firm and three of its major clients combined forces and sponsored the exhibition due to the museum’s lack of resources.
“Who knew, all those years ago, that things would come full circle,” Vento reminisces.
On view at PAMM through October 16, 2018, the 305 will have a unique opportunity to engage with the work of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, as part of the museum’s commitment to presenting modern art to its audience. Don’t miss Femme à la montre.