Picasso and Rivera review – a lifelong conversation between artistic frenemies

By Jordan Riefe

Lacma's winter show, Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time, parallels the European modern master with Mexico's most revered muralist

Although they are both credited with inventing cubism, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque spent most of their lives arguing over top billing. Henri Matisse, who gave cubism its name when he derided Braque as a painter of “little cubes”, feuded with Picasso from the day they were introduced by Gertrude Stein in 1906. For a long time, museums have mounted shows pairing Picasso with both artists, and many others, mainly because his name sells tickets, but also because of his ability to absorb new ideas and make them his own. Another of Picasso's frenemies, Diego Rivera, shares top billing on Lacma's winter show, Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time, paralleling the European modern master with Mexico's most revered muralist.

Co-curated by Lacma CEO Michael Govan and deputy director and director of the museum's program for the art of the ancient americas, Diana Magaloni, the new show features more than 100 paintings and prints by both artists, as well as Iberian, Greco-Roman and Aztec objects illustrating separate pursuits of modernism first through cubism, followed by a return to the classics.

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