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Tate focus on Picasso's Cold War

Tate Liverpool's Picasso: Peace & Freedom opens on 21 May

The post war work of Picasso features in a landmark exhibition at Tate Liverpool this summer.

Picasso: Peace and Freedom has over 150 works by the prolific Spanish artist, including The Charnel House, not seen in the UK for 50 years.

Using unseen archive Tate Liverpool explores Picasso's work from the end of World War Two until his death in France in 1973.

The exhibition is at Tate Liverpool from 21 May to 30 August, 2010.

Picasso's work during the cold war era is examined for the first time with insights in to his life as a left wing political activist.

He joined the communist party in 1944 and his paintings began to include more political content referencing key historical moments, particularly in relation to war.

"This shows a very different Picasso," Director of Tate Liverpool, Christoph Grunenberg told BBC North West Tonight.

"Picasso as a peace campaigner, Picasso as a Communist Party member, someone who was truly committed to bringing East and West during the Cold War together."

"It's a very different Picasso." - Tate Liverpool's Christoph Grunenberg

Picasso's Dove of Peace became the emblem for the Peace Movement during the Cold War years.

First used on a poster for the First International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1949, Picasso subsequently created variations on the dove for Congresses in Wroclaw, Stockholm, Sheffield, Vienna, Rome and Moscow.

Picasso would name his daughter, born in the same month as the Paris Peace Congress, Paloma - the Spanish for dove.

Tate Liverpool's exhibition brings together drawings and paintings relating to war and peace produced by Picasso in the period 1944-1973.

Christoph Grunenberg says putting the exhibition together was a difficult process, "It was extremely challenging but I think we did really well and having a work like The Charnel House here, which really hardly ever leaves the Museum of Modern Art in New York, last time it was here in this country was 50 years ago, in 1960 in London.

"It's a fantastic coup."

The exhibition includes The Rape of the Sabine Woman from 1962, painted in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Monument to the Spaniards who Died for France.

The Tate Liverpool exhibition is supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund and has been organised in collaboration with the Albertina in Vienna where the exhibition will move to in September 2010.

The Picasso exhibition is first big post Capital of Culture event at Tate Liverpool.

"After Capital of Culture the city has changed and the Tate has changed," Christoph Grunenberg said.

"We now can stage world class exhibitions and really get the fantastic loans, but also of course there is a tradition of Liverpool, the radical north, which is one of the reasons the exhibition is here as well."

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