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When the de Young Museum is able to reopen after the current round of pandemic-related closures, it will debut a touring exhibition featuring two of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. “Calder-Picasso” is a celebration of famed American sculptor and mobile maker Alexander Calder and iconic Spanish painter Pablo Picasso that will explore the similarities and divergences in the philosophies of the two artists.

Leaders at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which comprises the de Young and the Legion of Honor, say they are prepared to open the show as early as Feb. 26 if San Francisco’s pandemic protocols allow museums to reopen.

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“Calder-Picasso provides an in-depth investigation of the relationship between two of the most influential artists of the 20th century,” Thomas Campbell, the director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums, said in a statement. “We are delighted to share this fascinating exhibition with audiences on the West Coast. It reaffirms the revolutionary impact of their work as each grappled with the representation of form, space, and time in art — and in doing so, redefined the conception of art itself.”

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“Calder-Picasso” will include more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs and will be presented in the large lower-level galleries that recently housed the de Young Open. The exhibition was conceived by the artists’ grandsons — Alexander S.C. Rower and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso — and will be the first major museum show to explore their artistic relationship.

Picasso was born in 1881 and died in 1973; Calder was born in 1898 and died in 1976. Both men were considered among the most significant artists of their era, with Picasso becoming a worldwide celebrity during his lifetime. Calder remains most famous for his hanging mobiles, which are known for their movement and the dramatic shadows they cast in midair. Although both artists lived and worked in Paris between the world wars, they were not known to be friends

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