Picasso Through the Lens of David Douglas Duncan

2 - 28 February 2020

Hauser & Wirth, Gstaad


Opening at Vieux Chalet in Gstaad on the 2 February 2020, ‘Picasso Through the Lens of David Douglas Duncan’ gives a remarkable insight into the work and life of Picasso. Ceramics and paintings by the artist are presented in tandem with vintage photographs taken by the legendary photographer David Douglas Duncan during a period of unprecedented access to the artist’s studio. The works on view, created concurrently with the photographs, can be encountered as an ‘intervention’ throughout the domestic spaces of the chalet. The photographs, some of which have never been exhibited before, give an intimate portrait of the artist at work and at home. The project has been organised in close collaboration with the artist’s son, Claude Picasso, and James Koch, Executive Director at Hauser & Wirth. 

David Douglas Duncan, Picasso et céramique (oiseau), [Picasso and ceramic (bird)], 1957 © David Douglas Duncan © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2020;


David Douglas Duncan was a renowned war photographer, photojournalist, and a self-described nomad. He was among the most influential photographers of the last century, capturing World War II, the Vietnam War, and photo essays for Life magazine which enabled him to roam the world. The resulting images filled more than 25 books, including eight on Picasso. Duncan’s first encounter with Picasso happened in February 1956 when he infamously rang the doorbell of La Californie, Picasso’s home in Cannes. The artist’s wife, Jacqueline, led him upstairs and he met Picasso in his bathtub, who allowed Duncan to photograph him. From that starting point, the photographer developed a lasting friendship with Picasso over the course of 17 years during which time he captured an astounding visual archive of the artist’s life at La Californie. 


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