Picasso and Modern Africa 1945–73

Hear leading Picasso scholar Lynda Morris as she reveals the artist’s surprising historical engagement with politics and the peace movement and his many connections to Africa.

Picasso once made the statement to L’Humanité on the Liberation of Paris in 1944 that “Fascism is Racism”.  The artist focused on racism through various collaborations with figures throughout the world, including Alioune Diop of Présence Africaine, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Senghor, Mazisi Kunene of the ANC in London and Frank McEwen, the first director of what was then the Rhodes National Gallery in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. His final partner, Jacqueline, had also lived in Burkina Faso for four years with her first husband. Additionally, a set of photographs by the Argentine photographer Roberto Otero depict a confrontation in 1962 between Picasso and Joseph Hirshhorn, who owned mines in Katanga.

Lynda Morris curated Picasso: Peace and Freedom at Tate Liverpool in 2010, based on Picasso’s correspondence with the Museé Picasso in Paris. The exhibition travelled to the Albertina, Vienna, and The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. She previously researched AIA: The Story of the Artists International Association, 1933-1953 (Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1983) and “Art & Immigration”, issue 15 of Third Text (1990). In 2012, she curated Vanley Burke: By the Rivers of Birminam, and took the exhibition to the University of Johannesburg in 2014. She is Professor of Curation and Art History at Norwich University of the Arts, where she organised the “EASTinternational” series of open exhibitions from 1991 to 2009.

**Red Africa is Calvert 22’s new season of art, film, events and talks exploring the legacy of the cultural relationships between Africa, the Soviet Union and related countries that flourished during the Cold War.