photo: Haydar Koyupinar / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. Artworks by Pablo Picasso © Succession Picasso

The Picasso Artist’s Books exhibition in the Brandhorst Museum presented selected examples of more than 150 books designed by Picasso between 1905 and 1973 that had never been on public display before. It focussed on Picasso’s love of experimentation with various printing techniques and artistic media, as well as on his close cooperation with authors and publishers.

The exhibition was designed to have its own identity within the museum, and to provide a consistent framework in which to show works that have a broad range of styles, techniques and materials. At the same time, it aimed to convey the individual character of each work. A system of varying hues with similar tonality was applied to the walls so as to link the six thematically arranged gallery spaces. Lighting levels were kept very low to help preserve the exhibits. The display cases, varying in size according to their contents, were essentially conceived as sculptural elements within these walls.

In a complementary manner, furnishings were installed to highlight particular exhibits. For example, two of the gallery spaces were populated by freestanding display cases illuminated by suspended paper lanterns. The Tauromaquia, a series of bull-fighting scenes, was displayed on a circular wall, while the double-sided lithographs of Pierre Reverdy’s Le Chant des Morts were mounted within freestanding panels.

The unobtrusive presentation of the exhibits through the use of soft lighting enhanced the books’ special aura and, despite their small size, lent them a suitably imposing presence.


  • Design for an exhibition presenting eighty-five books by Picasso


  • Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen


  • gross floor area: 260 m²
  • 2010

project team

  • Philipp Eckhoff