Málaga’s Museo Picasso takes a look at the grotesque in art in its latest exhibition. On show until 10 February, The Grotesque Factor features more than 250 works by almost 80 artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco de Goya, James Ensor, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix, Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon.
In answer to the question, “What is the grotesque in art”, the museum observes, “At times it has been described as the exaggerated, on occasion compared to the deformed, and at others to the satirical or even the incongruous… (the exhibition) examines the meaning and evolution of this category of aesthetics at various points in western art history.” All the works feature an element of the grotesque, “which has been defined in this exhibition as an artist’s view of the world, a mindset that has been expressed in very different ways over the years”.
The exhibition is curated by MPM artistic director José Lebrero Stals and the academic advisor is Luis Puelles, professor of aesthetics and art theory at the University of Málaga. According to the museum, the project has been made possible thanks to the loans and generosity of private collections and art galleries, and the close involvement of museums including The British Museum in London, Museo Belvedere in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Royal Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.