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Portfolio Highlight: Catalogue Translation for Picasso's Figures

Picasso has cemented himself as one of the most notable artists of all time. Fifty years after his death, fascination with his works remains strong. During the year of Picasso, we wanted to highlight an especially relevant project. Figures presented 75 of Picasso’s paintings, sculptures, and paper works. The exhibition surrounds Picasso’s interactions and visualizations of the human form. The exhibition was meant to serve as a visual narrative of those different iterations. Although there is no consistent aesthetic the underlying theme remains the same. Picasso’s fascination with bodies was career-long and thus provides a fascinating forum for his stylistic evolution over various periods. Most of the works have bold coloring and incredible line work, however, no two pieces are quite the same.

This exhibition was made to travel around the globe and expose fans to this artistic journey. There are a variety of parts within this exhibition including videos. This exhibition began in Paris, before journeying to the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Their chief curator, Mark Scala was particularly passionate about Figures. He claimed, “Viewers will see how, as Picasso continuously deconstructed and then remade the body, he was also recasting the history of figuration as a combination of his own psychological view of humanity and observations about the disruptive nature of life in the 20th century.” We were tasked with translating the catalogue from French to English so that the exhibit could make its way to America and increase accessibility.

The catalogue was around 176 pages and included details of each piece and accompanying description. Each piece’s information and the exhibition as a whole were nuanced and carried emotional depth which made translation especially interesting. While translating, we made sure to maintain the meaning of the source text of the exhibition while still creating the most accurate translation possible.

The complexity of Picasso’s work is highlighted within the exhibition itself, and accurate translation is vital to make sure the tone of the exhibit remains the same, regardless of language and location.


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