Picasso applied himself with great intensity to the specific possibilities of print techniques. From woodcuts and etchings to lithographs and linoleum cuts, he employed every known printing method with stupendous ease and mastery, developing complex mixed techniques and experimenting with polychrome prints. Curated by Anita Haldemann.
Curated by Anita Haldemann
Pablo Picasso applied himself with great intensity to the specific possibilities of print techniques. From woodcuts and etchings to lithographs and linoleum cuts, he employed every known printing method with stupendous ease and mastery, developing complex mixed techniques and experimenting with polychrome prints. He created his first etching, Le Repas frugal, in 1904. An ambitious piece, it marked the beginning of a huge oeuvre of over 2000 printed works. As a printmaker, Picasso follows in the tradition of Durer, Rembrandt, and Goya. In more recent techniques such as the linoleum cut, he set entirely new standards.
The collection of the Kupferstichkabinett in Basel, including more than 150 sheets, is much more than a supplement to the outstanding ensemble of Picasso's paintings in the Kunstmuseum. Thanks to its breadth, it enables an enhanced engagement with the graphic aspect of the artist's highly diverse complete works. Half of these prints originate from the collection of the important Swiss collector Georges Bloch (1900-1983), Picasso's friend, who produced a four-volume catalogue of his prints. In 1972 and 1982, Bloch donated a total of 512 sheets to the Gottfried-Keller Stiftung, which have been divided among several Swiss museums.
The exhibition shows a representative selection of approximately 90 prints from all phases of Picasso's career, from the Blue Period through Cubism to the late prints from around 1970. These include fantastic works such as the color linoleum print L'Homme a la fraise and etchings from the famous Suite Vollard. The spectrum of subjects ranges from the saltimbanques and the representations of the artist and his model to the portraits, offering a fascinating insight into Picasso's graphic works.
Image: Picasso, L'Homme a la fraise, 1962
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