Meta Maria Valiusaityte

Meta Maria Valiusaityte, M.A.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Université Paris-Nanterre (août - décembre 2022)

thèse de doctorat : The Crisis in Cubism and the Return to Portraiture, Picasso, 1913-1915


Meta Maria Valiusaityte is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and at the Université Paris Nanterre. Her dissertation, titled “The Crisis in Cubism and the Return to Portraiture, Picasso, 1913-1915”, treats Pablo Picasso’s renewed engagement with mimetic representation, tracing his artistic interaction with André Derain, Gino Severini and Juan Gris in the early 1910s, and exploring the specific role played by portraits. 

From 2020 to 2022, Meta was a predoctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut in the department of Prof. Gerhard Wolf. Before joining the KHI, she has been researcher at the Musée Picasso in Paris, where she worked on the exhibition “Les Louvre de Pablo Picasso” (Musée du Louvre-Lens, 10/2021-01/2022). Prior to that she was scientific executive assistant to Prof. Peter Weibel, CEO of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany.

Meta has written about modern and contemporary art for numerous exhibitions catalogues and taught at the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, focusing on exhibition history and historiography of the art market. She received her Magister degree from the University of Heidelberg, with a major in Art History and minors in Political Science and Italian Literature as well as an M.A. in Museology from the École du Louvre, Paris.

Axes de recherche

The Crisis in Cubism and the Return to Portraiture, Picasso, 1913-1915


The artistic goals and formal language of many avant-garde artists in Paris changed radically during the period 1913-1915, leading to a surprising resurgence of the genre of portraiture. My dissertation addresses Pablo Picasso’s renewed engagement with mimetic representation by focusing on the emergence of bodies and faces as part of the paradoxical tension between individualization and abstraction – two main concerns in artistic practice and historical debates. Pivoting on the summer 1914 in Avignon, when Picasso worked closely with André Derain, I interrogate how these different modes of representation appeared and coexisted. I argue that Picasso’s return to portraiture anticipates the postwar return to naturalistic representation, thus challenging traditional interpretations of the pan-European “return to order”.



Fields of research


  • Early-twentieth-century European avant-gardes, with special interest in Cubism and Futurism
  • The invention of collage
  • Portraiture
  • Global Contemporary
  • Eastern European contemporary art, especially contemporary performance
  • Exhibition History and the Future of Museums



Meta Maria Valiusaityte , M.A.