Picasso's front curtain
This work tells the story of a set design piece, the curtain that Picasso created for the ballet Parade in 1917. The story begins in Paris before the First World War. While the dances of Mata Hari dazzle the French, Jean Cocteau proposes Sergue Diaghilev Parade, a ballet for his Russian Ballets. Cocteau summons Eric Satie to create the music and Pablo Picasso for the scenography and costumes. The choreography is signed by Léonide Massine. The ballet opens in Paris in 1917, with the First World War already started. It was a great failure but it marks a turning point in the history of dance. Picasso paints a 17 by 10 meter curtain (to be seen only before the show begins) that goes down in history. He also creates cubist costumes for dancers.
The curtain traveled to Buenos Aires in 1939 along with several French works of art to be presented in an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts. Arturo Jacinto Álvarez, an excentric collector and writer, founder of Editorial La Perdiz, falls in love with the curtain, buys it and transports it to his rural property in the Province of Buenos Aires. This second part is an attempt to reconstruct the figure of Arturo Jacinto Álvarez based on his literary work, information collected in the journalistic media and interviews with people who knew him.
Fifteen years later the curtain returns to Europe for an exhibition and art experts mobilize to recover the precious piece that is now part of the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (Center Pompidou). In the file on the curtain, acquired in 1955, there is a empty space corresponding to the 14 years that the curtain was in Argentina.
The final part of the book offers information subsequently founded in other sources that presents different hypotheses that have not been verified and opens new questions, along with a playful story told by the curtain itself.
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