• Steven Heller

Artists Are Kids at Heart

The exhibition Toys of the Avant Garde on view at the Museo Picasso Malaga, Spain, just closed last Saturday. But a generously illustrated catalog featuring many of the 400 works on view is now available. And a slide show of the exhibit can be seen here.


The exhibition illustrated early 20th-century artists’ interest in making children familiar with the shapes and ideas of modern art. Among the over 100 artists are Pablo Picasso (below top), Giacomo Balla, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fortunato Depero (above), Torres Garcia Perro (below second from top), Paul Klee, El Lissitzky, Joan Miró, Edward Steichen, Sophie Tauber-Arp (below bottom), Alexander Rodchenko and Ladislav Sutnar (below second from bottom).

Play serves as the narrative thread for an exhibition that covers such diverse disciplines as art, literature, theatre, photography, graphic design and film.

Toys of the Avant-garde examined the little-explored relationship between art and teaching, in the numerous projects for children that appeared in Europe during this revolutionary period.


The show also included a re-staging of the exhibition organized by author Blaise Cendrars in Paris, in 1929, approximately two hundred works, including books, correspondence, photographs and posters for children, produced by Russian Avant-garde artists during the early years of the Soviet Revolution.


Organized and produced by the Museo Picasso Málaga, and curated by Carlos Pérez, Head of Exhibitions at the Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad (MuVIM), Valencia, and José Lebrero Stals, Artistic Director of the MPM.


Two editions of the book are available in Spanish and English. I got mine at the Strand Bookstore in NYC.



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