'Picassofest' at Baylor Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Famous Painting with One-Man Play

Nov. 12, 2007

by Paige Patton, communication specialist, (254) 710-3321

Baylor University's Allbritton Art Institute will sponsor a one-man play as part of "Picassofest" activities at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in room 149 of the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

Picassofest seeks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the artist's famous painting, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Wednesday's festivities will include a one-man play called "Picasso's War," written and performed by Dutch actor Klaas Hofstra.

Hofstra's play will incorporate music and slides as he portrays Picasso at age 72 during the height of the artist's enormous success. Hofstra will explain the turmoil Picasso feels on the physical, mental, artistic and emotional levels as he is at war with the world and with himself, said Karen Pope, senior lecturer in Baylor's art department.

"'Picasso's War'" offers an engaging, compact opportunity to look into the long, prolific life of Picasso and reflect on the personal and emotional side of his creative achievements," said Pope. "In the form of a dramatic interpretation of his life, 'Picasso's War' should make Picasso accessible to the general public, too."

Hofstra is a Dutch stage and television actor and has trained for the theater in Amsterdam, London, New York and San Francisco. He has written seven plays in which he portrays great artists including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondrian and Picasso. Hofstra has performed these solo shows around the world for the past 15 years.

"A dramatic interpretation of key events in Picasso's life will help audiences of all levels appreciate the difficulty of the artistic process and the enormity of Picasso's talent and success," said Pope. "The play's look into Picasso's emotional and pictorial grappling with a war atrocity of 1937 may be timely as a perspective on art's response to war as well."

The performance of "Picasso's War" is the second in a trio of events designed to observe the anniversary of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Dr. Jan McCullagh, retired professor of art, lectured on the painting on Oct. 25, which is Picasso's birthday. In April 2008, Baylor Theatre will perform a mainstage production of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" during the spring theater season.

According to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon "is often celebrated as a cornerstone of modernism and the definitive work in the creation of Cubism, arguably the most influential formal development in the visual arts of the 20th century."

The Allbritton Art Institute was established at Baylor in 1998 by Mr. and Mrs. Joe Allbritton, whose vision is to promote appreciation and comprehensive study of the artists and art movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the performance. For more information, contact Pope at (254) 710-6385 or at Karen_Pope@baylor.edu.

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