Inside the Controversy Over Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Pablo-matic’ Show

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso. To mark the occasion, an international event called Picasso Celebration has been organized, with 50 museums throughout the world running 50 different shows looking at the legacy of Picasso, among the most well-known artists of the 20th century.

Certainly the most unusual and most talked about of these is not a “celebration” of Picasso at all. The Brooklyn Museum is hosting “It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby.” Brooklyn Museum curators Catherine Morris and Lisa Small have worked with the famous Australian stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby to create an art show that takes its cues from Gadsby’s 2018 blockbuster Netflix comedy special Nanette.

That show was, among other things, a blistering argument about the sexism of art history, the art industry, and, specifically, of Picasso. “It’s Pablo-matic” has itself been at the center of a wave of criticism in recent weeks. Rachel Corbett, Artnet’s deputy editor, speaks to Ben Davis, Artnet’s national art critic, who wrote a long essay about the show, the reaction to the show, and what both mean for the site.

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