In her show Nanette on Netflix, comedian Hannah Gadsby tears up the figure of Picasso, this symbol of male domination that she “hates”. At the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the exhibition on the master of cubism bears his mark, but is intended to be more nuanced and does justice to the women who did not know the glory of the Spanish artist.

It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso according to Hannah Gadsby, from June 2 to September 24, is one of the exhibitions expected as part of the many celebrations, under the aegis of France and Spain, of the fifty years of death of the painter of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937).

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) remains one of the most influential artists of modern art, readily qualified as a genius. But in the wake of the movement

Separate the man from the artist? The Australian humorist Hannah Gadsby refuses to do so in the written and audio comments that accompany the works exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, unearthing in the paintings or drawings symbols of misogyny. Or pointing to this penis in the middle of the canvas Le sculpteur (1931), proof according to her that Picasso “could not detach himself from his art in his works”.

Catherine Morris, chief curator of the museum’s Center for Feminist Art and co-curator of Pablo-matic, offers a more measured reading. “You’re dealing with the really complex and nuanced situation of an artist who is unquestionably a genius, but also an anything but perfect human being,” she told AFP in a press briefing. where Hannah Gadsby was not present. “Admiration and anger can coexist”, also warns the preamble of the exhibition, organized in cooperation with the National Picasso Museum in Paris, and which wants to revisit his work under a feminist look.

Picasso in the midst of women, therefore, but not those he represented in his paintings, rather artists of his time. They “didn’t have the same support or access to institutional structures that fostered Picasso’s ‘genius’,” says Lisa Small, senior curator for European art at the Brooklyn Museum.

The visitor can pause on drawings of nudes from the 1930s by the American Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), “completely revolutionary at the time because it was then very difficult for women to be admitted in drawing classes,” says Catherine Morris. Or Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), a figure of German Expressionism “incredibly talented, both technically and emotionally”, adds Lisa Small.

Also on display are figures from the American feminist art movement, of which the Brooklyn Museum is at the forefront, such as the African-American Faith Ringgold or the Guerilla Girls. This movement, embodied in American art historian Linda Nochlin’s seminal essay, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists (1971), took off in the 1970s, during the decade that saw Picasso disappear.

Fifty years after his death, “there are incredible (Picasso) works in this exhibition that I still love,” says Catherine Morris. “My regret is that Picasso was largely the only modern artist I was taught. There’s a much richer story to explore that he can be a part of,” she adds.