This year is the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death and at least 45 official exhibitions have been planned to celebrate the occasion. Only one dared to take on the status of the artist: It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby at the Brooklyn Museum. As a result, the curators said they received hate mail and the museum was lambasted by critics. When I visited the show, the galleries were crowded with both women and men (something I had rarely found at exhibitions focusing on feminist art) and people were laughing along with Gadsby, the stand-up comedian who inspired and co-curated the exhibition with museum curators Catherine Morris and Lisa Small. The museum visitors didn’t seem ignorant of Picasso’s place in art history, nor did they look like they were eager to “cancel” him. It just felt that Picasso, like all celebrities, could be taken down a notch and the world wouldn’t fall apart.
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