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Standard Bank and French government to present Picasso in Africa

Standard Bank, the French Embassy and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) have announced an international cultural coup for South Africa: Picasso and Africa, an exhibition of works by the twentieth century European master, Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition comprises more than 60 paintings, drawings and sculptures, dating from 1906 to 1972, which contain and communicate Picasso's African inspiration.

Picasso and Africa will be exhibited at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, from 10 February to 19 March 2006. Thereafter, Picasso and Africa will travel to Cape Town where it will be exhibited at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town from 11 April to 21 May 2006.

A major loan from the Picasso Museum will be augmented by works from the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou; as well as the Picasso family and other lenders.

Picasso and Africa offers, for the first time, a dialogue between Africa and Picasso and explores the influence of African art on his artistic output, in the company of classical African pieces.

With President Mbeki and President Chirac as Patrons, the exhibition has the full support of the French and South African governments and reinforces the important cultural ties between the two countries.

Previous exhibitions of work by Marc Chagall (2000) and Joan Miró (2002) that were also organized by Standard Bank and IFAS have formed the foundation for this groundbreaking venture.

The exhibition is the culmination of longstanding partnerships formed between Standard Bank, the French Embassy and IFAS, and also includes AFAA, (l'Association française d'action artistique), and Iziko Museums of Cape Town; and Air France who has been a loyal and invaluable logistical partner since 2000. Discussions to develop this ambitious project were initiated more than three years ago.

The Picasso Museum in Paris and one of its leading curators, Laurence Madeline, agreed to work with Marilyn Martin, Director of Art Collections at Iziko South African National Gallery, to conceive and develop the exhibition for South Africa.

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