One hundred and twenty prints by Picasso from the collection of the Simon Norton Museum are presented in this highly readable, fully illustrated, and scholarly catalogue which accompanies the exhibition at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, at the Toledo Museum of Art, and at the Simon Norton Museum.
After a hiatus in printmaking during the turmoil of the Second World War, Picasso discovered lithography in the workshop of Fernand Mourlot. Within a few years, he created some of his most innovative lithographs, such as The Bull, and Two Nude Women. These are presented in a series of radically revised working proofs. Picasso's focus on lithography continued through the 1950s, with the masterful and subtle The Dove, and large naturalistic portraits of Francoise Gilot and later of Jacqueline Roque. In all, some thirty-five lithographs are included in the selection, showing Picasso's range of artistry.
By 1958 his attention was caught by the linocut. The first major linocut, the famous Young Woman, After Lucas Cranach, delights in its bright colours and decorative lines. Twelve color linocuts are presented, ranging from monumental heads and dynamic bullfight scenes to light-hearted bachanals with fauns and dancing nymphs.
In the mid-1960s Picasso returned to intaglio, the medium he preferred. His printmaking career closed with two large suites of prints. The catalogue concludes with twenty-five etchings from Suite 347, prints created in a diary-like form over six months, when he was eighty-seven years old. In these ironic - often ribals - prints, the artist ruminated on his life and work, his celebrity and anxieties, and on his relation to such famous artists as El Greco, Ingres, Delacroix, and Manet.
The prints include highlights from all major areas of Picasso's graphic work, and are presented here in rare depth. Picasso's formidable printmaking accomplishments cover a range of activity in varied techniques from 1905 to 1970. The prints of 1905 through the 1920s show an initial exploration of themes that he developed in more complex form in later prints, drawings and paintings. During the 1930s Picasso became fully engaged in etching, creating three important suites: Ovid's Metamorphoses; Balzac's Le chef d'oeuvre inconnu; and the Suite Vollard, which reshapes and intertwines the thems of the first two suites in a prolonged meditation on the artist and his model.
Each of the five essays in this book focuses on a particular aspect of Picasso's printmaking activity, beginning with Betsy Fryberger's overview of his prodigious and onnovative practices. Gloria Williams describes the method of Simon Norton's collecting of Picasso prints. Clinton Adams, an expert practitioner of lithography, explains the technique of the innovative lithographs of the late 1940s. Pat Gilmour analyzes and documents Picasso's attention to his mistress Marie-Theres Walter. David Carrier writes of performance and the artist as performer.
Picasso Graphic Magician
I. B. Tauris & Company, Limited
Prints from the Norton Simon Museun