A Hidden Picasso, SFMoMA

Posted on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 08:43
A Hidden Picasso
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
23 February- 28 May 2007
"A Hidden Picasso," the exhibition that opened the 2004 conference of the International Institute for Conservation in Bilbao, is being presented as a didactic installation at the SFMoMA.
The exhibition will be on view in the second-floor Koret Visitor Education Center, several meters from the permanent collection gallery where Picasso's Scene de Rue (oil on canvas, 1900) is on display.  It is presented through the generous support of the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao.
Will Shank, former Chief Conservator of SFMOMA, developed the content, which is based upon the discovery by Ann Hoenigswald of the National Gallery of Art, of the presence of what appeared to be an almost-complete composition by Pablo Picasso beneath the SFMOMA painting, Scene de Rue.
Working with a digital imaging expert, Shank applied colors visible through cracks and abrasions in the surface of the upper painting in order to create a color version of the black-and-white x-radiograph, in which
the design of the hidden painting showed clearly.  The resulting image, on view as a back-lit transparency, appears to be a prototype for Le Moulin de la Galette, one of the masterpieces of the Solomon Guggenheim Museum's Thannhauser Collection, and previously considered the nineteen-year-old Picasso's first painting in Paris, in 1900.  In the "Hidden Picasso," a group of gaily dressed nightclub patrons at the left observe a group of French Cancan dancers kicking up their heels on the right.  The Scene de Rue, which obscures the nightclub scene, is a somber view of three anonymous figures in a Paris cityscape.
For general information about the visit this link at the SFMOMA website
Link to SFMoMA's special website on the subject: hidden Picasso