Exhibit offers Picasso through feminist lens

Fifty years after art icon Pablo Picasso's death, his legacy is reassessed by comedian Hannah Gadsby in a Brooklyn Museum exhibition in New York, this time through a contemporary, feminist lens.

In her 2018 Netflix special "Nanette," Gadsby expressed "hate" for the Spanish master of Cubism and the creator of works like "Guernica" and "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon."

But in "It's Pablo-matic: Picasso according to Hannah Gadsby," one of the many eagerly awaited shows under the aegis of France and Spain marking the 50th anniversary of his death, the approach is more nuanced.

Picasso (1881-1973) remains one of the most influential artists of the modern world, often hailed as a dynamic and creative genius.

But in the wake of the #Metoo movement, the reputation of this workaholic with a vast output of paintings, sketches and sculpture has been tarnished by accusations he exerted a violent hold over the women who shared his life and inspired his art.

In Gadsby's written and audio commentaries accompanying the pieces in the Brooklyn Museum, the Australian humorist refuses to separate the man from the artist, unearthing symbols of misogyny in Picasso's paintings and drawings.

Catherine Morris, chief curator of the museum's Center for Feminist Art and a co-curator of "Pablo-matic," offers a more measured assessment.

"You're dealing with a really complex and nuanced situation of an artist who is undeniably a genius, but also a less-than-perfect human," Morris said.

"Admiration and anger can co-exist," warns a preface of the exhibition, which has been organized in collaboration with the Musee National Picasso-Paris in France.

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