Turkey women opens preview of Picasso exhibition

One of Turkey's richest women opened a preview of a Picasso exhibition including rarely displayed works at her family museum Tuesday, saying the show was a monument to a modern, culturally rich and, above all, European Istanbul. The preview at the Sakip Sabanci Museum on the Bosporus was attended by Guler Sabanci, head of Sabanci Holding, and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist's grandson and chairman of the Picasso Museum in Malaga.

The works in the exhibition, chosen for an audience that has few preconceptions about Picasso, are meant to be seen in chronological order and range from realistic oil paintings like "Bird," painted in 1895 when the artist was only 14, to "Character," painted two years before Picasso's death in 1971.

"It's a new view of Picasso, this exhibition," said curator Marilyn McCully, a Picasso expert who is currently working on the third of four volumes of his biography with scholar John Richardson. "You're seeing works that you don't often see."

The exhibition of the works of the quintessential modern artist in Istanbul is also a symbolic act, said Guler Sabanci.

"In a democratic Turkey, turned to the West, in a Turkey on the road to Europe, we'll view a Picasso exhibit together," she said. The exhibition, which includes works from Ruiz-Picasso's private collection, features 135 pieces and will run at the Sakip Sabanci Museum from Nov. 24 to March 26, reports the AP. I.L.

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