Hannah Gadsbys Picasso Show Was Meant to Ignite Debate. And It Did.

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2023-06-09 16:43:15  • 8 mins

The Brooklyn Museum invited the Australian comedian to help organize a show on Picassos troubling life and artistic lens. The reaction was strong.

Some reviews were scathing, dismissing the exhibition on Picasso and feminism co-organized by the Australian comic Hannah Gadsby as weak in scholarship, thin on significant works of art and knee-jerk in its politics.

Dont Go, blared a headline on the website Hellgate, while the Guardian asked, Is Hannah Gadsbys Picasso exhibition really that bad? Even Gadsbys home turf paper declared, Hannah Gadsbys new Picasso exhibition is a joke.

Yet in spite of or perhaps because of these strong reactions, people lined up at the Brooklyn Museum for the shows opening on June 2, increasing general admission by 51 percent over the weekend before.

And the Brooklyn Museum is standing by the exhibition, Its Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby, arguing that it had anticipated objections when it hired Gadsby, who had eviscerated the Cubist painters misogynistic attitudes toward women in a 2018 Netflix special, Nanette. The exhibition, its organizers said, was meant to prompt heated discussion.

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