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Prodigious Output of Prints by Picasso On View at LACMA

  • prints by picasso
July 1, 2016
Alias of Ksenija Pantelić

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has, since its inception in 1965, devoted its practice to collecting works of art that span both history and geography. As one the largest museums in the western United States, it continuously presents to its public some of the most exciting and most influential contemporary and historical art pieces. This time is no exception since the new exhibition Picasso and His Printers will feature, largely drawn from its collection, prints by Picasso and will showcase the extraordinary talent of the most famous 20th-century artist within the printmaking art discipline.

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Pablo Picasso – Femme Torero. Dernier Baiser, 1934, Etching Image, (Image): 19 5/16 x 27 7/16 in. Sheet (Sheet): 22 1/4 x 30 in. Mat (Mat): 30 × 40 in.Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by Dr. Richard E. Brandes (M.2009.24), © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Prints by Picasso

Pablo Picasso’s constant experimentation and technical ingenuity seem to be equally prolific in his research of the printmaking techniques as with his paintings, sculptures, collage art, and ceramics. By the end of the Second World War, Picasso had reached something, which he described as “ the moment … when the movement of my thought interests me more than the thought itself ”. This new interest provoked the artist to concentrate his artistic practice on the versatility of techniques and approaches found within different printmaking practices. The process of printmaking differs greatly from the oil paintings and develops through different stages. This is what amazed Picasso, allowing him to work up a design, print it, rework it and print it all again. Exploring different techniques, from etching, drypoint and the famous lithography technique, known to help with the production of some of the greatest poster art pieces of Art Deco period, some of Picasso’s most celebrated works are featured in this exhibition.

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Left: Pablo Picasso – Salomé, 1905, Drypoint on Arches laid paper, Image (image): 15 11/16 x 13 3/4 in. (39.85 x 34.85 cm)15 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. (40.005 x 34.925 cm), Sheet (sheet): 23 15/16 x 17 1/8 in. (60.8013 x 43.4975 cm), Mat: 30 × 24 in. (76.2 × 60.96 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by George Cukor by exchange ,(AC1992.127.1), © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA / Right: Pablo Picasso – Woman Crying Before a Wall, 1937, Etching, aquatint, and scraper, 13 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (34.29 x 24.765 cm), Mat: 22 × 18 in. (55.88 × 45.72 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Graphic Arts Council Fund (M.89.125), © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Collaboration with the Printers

Crucial for Picasso’s investigation of graphic art was his collaboration with master printers. His close partnership with the printer Roger Lacourière shifted and provoked the artist to adopt a new and more radical approach to drypoint and etching techniques, which were, up till then, more conventional and traditional. The support Picasso received from his printers allowed more freedom in his experimentation and expression. His later collaboration with Fernand Mourlot in lithography and Hidalgo Arnéra in linocut provided the artist with knowledge about the technique and support to press the boundaries of what could be realized within each medium.

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Pablo Picasso – Taureau et Picador, June 17, 1952, One of four proofs of the sixth state (of twenty); there was no edition, Aquatint, scraper, drypoint, and engraving printed on Arches wove paper, Plate: 16 7/16 × 21 1/2 in. (41.75 × 54.61 cm), Sheet: 19 3/4 × 25 3/4 in. (50.17 × 65.41 cm), Mat: 24 1/4 × 29 3/8 × 3/8 in. (61.6 × 74.61 × 0.95 cm), Mat: 27 × 32 in. (68.58 × 81.28 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of the 2014 Collectors Committee (M.2014.73), © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Picasso and His Printers at LACMA

As one of the most influential and famous artists of the 20th-century, Pablo Picasso is known for his impact and the development of some of the most radical and avant-guard approaches to art that helped to shape art history and inspire some of the contemporary art today. Intensely affected by the Spanish Civil War, most famous pieces by Picasso are in fact political works. Reshaping the role of the artist and his work, Picasso experimented with different disciplines and mediums trough out his long career. This time, at LACMA the exhibition Picasso and His Printers, will celebrate the achievements of the vital collaboration the artist had with his printers and the impressive output of prints, which spanned all seven decades of his work. Lasting from July 23 until November 27, 2016, the exhibition will offer its public a great insight into a great mind that was Picasso’s and some of the most amazing pieces of print art showcasing his much-celebrated talent and influence.

All images courtesy of LACMA. Featured image in slider: Pablo Picasso – Blind Minotaur Led through the Night by Girl with Fluttering Dove, 1934, Edition of 250, Burnished aquatint Plate (Plate): 9 3/4 x 13 11/16 in. Mat: 18 × 22 in. (45.72 × 55.88 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Graphic Arts Council Fund (M.77.23), © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA