Imagine Picasso
the Original Immersive Exhibition in Image Totale©

When & Where 27 October 2021 to 8 January 2022; 9am - 9pm (Last entry 1 hour before close) | Vancouver Convention Centre (East Building)

Reviewer John Jane

Olga (Khokhlova) in an Armchair
Photo: John Jane of a projected portrait by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Ruiz Picasso is regarded as one of the most productive and influential artists of the twentieth century and is probably unique as a painter in that he achieved wealth and fame in his own lifetime. Born in Málaga, Spain, he spent most of his adult life in France.

Logically, no one would appreciate every work that Picasso has ever created, but nor would anyone dislike everything he has done. He frequently changed his style as he experimented with different methods, techniques and concepts. He obviously found pleasure in painting women, though he never required that they pose for him. Among the roughly two hundred works featured in this exhibition, many are portraits of his wives Olga and Jacqueline, his daughters, Maya and Paloma, the other women he loved and even prostitutes.

Imagine Picasso creators Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron provide a virtual promenade inside the life and work of this iconic artist through selected examples of each facet of his creative genius. The concept offers an immersive experience of viewing around 200 works through Picasso’s recognized periods: Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism, Neoclassical and Surrealism.
Visitors can meander at their leisure past the giant origami structures and around the walls on which the high resolution images are projected. The manner of projection is dynamic, rather than static. Images roll over the geometric structures giving the visual effect of the structures moving. The walk-around experience is enhanced by an accompanying soundtrack of Spanish and French classical music.

An example of Picasso's grotesque surrealism
Photo: John Jane of a projected image by Pablo Picasso

The display is in three sections: The first consists of about half-dozen, wall mounted information boards that provide detailed descriptions of the techniques of presenting Image Totale and the concept of Cathédrale d'Images as well as career aspects of Picasso himself. The second section is a display of framed, wire-hung storyboards depicting phases of the master’s development as a painter. If time is at a premium, you could by-pass the first section, but It would certainly be a worthwhile investment of time to work your way through the second section reading as many of the boards that you find interesting.

Finally, When proceeding into the main room, you will be confronted by a panorama of ‘out-the-frame’ magnified images of Picasso’s paintings and line drawings projected on peripheral twenty foot high walls, the floor and curious geometric structures symbolic of the iconic artist’s famed origami.

Be prepared to be on your feet for the entire time of your visit. The exhibition is designed for patrons to wander around rather than stand or sit (nowhere to do that) in one place. The images change at a fairly even pace through a continuous loop (one cycle lasts 33 minutes). There is no beginning or end, so one may enter and leave the room at any time without missing anything. I would recommend staying for at least two complete cycles, since you are almost sure to miss something on the first time through.

© 2021 John Jane