The Frist Art Museum will kick off its 20th anniversary with Picasso. Figures, an exhibition from the incomparable collection of the Musée national Picasso-Paris. The exhibition offers an in-depth look at Pablo Picasso’s career-long fascination with the human figure as a means of expressing a range of subjects and emotions. Featuring approximately 75 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures, Picasso. Figures will make its sole U.S. appearance in Nashville in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from February 5 through May 2, 2021. Advance timed entry tickets for this exhibition are now available.

Highlights of the exhibition include masterpieces from Picasso’s various styles and periods, as well as more intimate works that provide fresh insights into his innovative practice. “Viewers will see how, as Picasso continuously deconstructed and then remade the body, he was also recasting the history of figuration as a combination of his own psychological view of humanity and observations about the disruptive nature of life in the 20th century,” says Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala.

“We are delighted to work with the Musée national Picasso-Paris—the home of the world’s largest and most comprehensive public collection of works by the iconic artist—to bring Picasso. Figures to Nashville,” says Frist Art Museum director and CEO Susan H. Edwards. “Through the extraordinary generosity and support of our community for almost 20 years now, we have been able to deliver on our mission to present world-class exhibitions in Nashville. For many years, we have been looking for a Picasso show of this caliber, and we are thrilled that during our 20th anniversary we will be able to share this astonishing collection with our city and everyone who will travel to see it.”

A panoramic survey of Picasso’s career, the exhibition opens with portrayals of his wives and lovers in a range of styles, which often capture the turbulence of their relationships.  The focus then shifts to Picasso’s renowned cubist period of the early 20th century. Of particular interest are works that demonstrate the powerful influence of African and Iberian art on this radical style, in which perceptions of time, space, and reality are altered in ways that embody the ideal of artistic freedom manifested by artists of the period. Continuing through the exhibition, visitors will encounter paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that reflect Picasso’s experiments with a variety of styles, including surrealism, neoclassicism, and expressionism. Picasso. Figures culminates in late works, characterized by vivid colors, exuberant brushstrokes, and playful twists on the old masters, showing that Picasso’s endless desire to reinvent painting continued until the end of his life.  

“The selection of the Frist in Nashville as the only U.S. venue for this show is a wonderful testament to our city’s growing national and international stature as a cultural destination,” says Edwards. “We are grateful to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. for their support of Picasso. Figures.”

“The Frist Art Museum is a critical part of the city’s cultural landscape,” said Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “Given the issues we have all faced since March of this year, we look forward to welcoming this world-class exhibition to our own Frist Art Museum in 2021. Our city remains a prime destination for travelers from around the country and across the world, and with Nashville as the sole U.S. venue, we certainly anticipate that many people will see this exhibition as an excellent reason to visit our city.”


Group tours

Interested in bringing a group or participating in a virtual tour? Find out how to make group reservations for Picasso. Figures and our other exhibitions.

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Picasso. Figures is organized in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris. It was conceived and organized by Emilia Philippot, curator, and François Dareau, associate curator, Musée national Picasso-Paris.

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Exhibition Itinerary
Frist Art Museum: February 5–May 2, 2021
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec City, Canada: TBA

Exhibition gallery

Events and programs

Lectures + Gallery Talks
Thursday, February 4, 5:30–6:30 p.m.

Curator’s Perspective: Picasso. Figures

Educator Program
Thursday, February 11, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Educator Workshop: Picasso. Figures

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access, in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.