Pablo Picasso - Evening & Day Editions New York Tuesday, April 21, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gift to the present owner by Jacqueline Roque in 1974.

  • Literature

    Georges Bloch 462-467; Brigitte Baer 784-788; Patrick Cramer books 48

  • Catalogue Essay

    Including: Plate I: Nu de profil: garde gauche (Ba. 784), engraving; Plate II: Pismo (letter) cover (Ba. 785), etching and engraving; Plate V: Femme aux feuilles et arabesque, 1st state (Ba. 786), etching; Plate III: Femme aux feuilles et arabesque, 2nd state (Ba. 786), etching; Plate IV: Femme au fauteuil (Ba. 787), engraving; and Plate VI: Nu de face: garde droite (Ba. 788), engraving.This, the second livre d'artiste collaboration between Picasso and the Russian poet, Iliazd, after Afat in 1940 and before The Skinny, 1952.

    This Russian poetic text was inspired by the meeting of the poet and a young compatriot, Olga Djordjadze, in Cannes in 1946, with whom he could speak Russian and pleased him greatly. He was earning a living writing a thesis for a student to which Olga thought was wrong so then asked her "For whom then, do you want me to write in Russian?" and Olga wittily replied "I would wish that it only be for me." Thus Pismo was born - a love 'letter' to a transitory companion with whom Iliazd traveled through Provence. The book contains two title pages, one in Spanish for the painter and Russian for the author. The prints were done between March and April 1947 and the woman has the distinct features of Francoise Gilot.

    Among the books that were published by Iliazd, most of which are distinguished by his unique sense of typography and page design, Pismo/Escrito is outstanding for its unorthodox format. Picasso's prints appear on the folded-back parts of pages; information about the production of the book as well as several sections of the love letter of the title appear on equally narrow pages tucked between normal ones. Through the variety of page sizes and placements the artist and the poet, designer, and publisher have created a halting and clumsy object that complements the subject of the text. Riva Castleman, A Century of Artists Books, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1994.

  • Artist Biography

    Pablo Picasso

    Spanish • 1881 - 1973

    One of the most dominant and influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was a master of endless reinvention. While significantly contributing to the movements of Surrealism, Neoclassicism and Expressionism, he is best known for pioneering the groundbreaking movement of Cubism alongside fellow artist Georges Braque in the 1910s. In his practice, he drew on African and Iberian visual culture as well as the developments in the fast-changing world around him.

    Throughout his long and prolific career, the Spanish-born artist consistently pushed the boundaries of art to new extremes. Picasso's oeuvre is famously characterized by a radical diversity of styles, ranging from his early forays in Cubism to his Classical Period and his later more gestural expressionist work, and a diverse array of media including printmaking, drawing, ceramics and sculpture as well as theater sets and costumes designs. 

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The complete set of six etchings and engravings, on ancient Japanese paper, folded in three different ways to overlap forming stairs of one, two or three steps, with text by Iliazd,
15 x 10 1/2 in. (38.1 x 26.7 cm)
signed in pencil by Picasso and Iliazd and numbered 13/50 on the justification (from the total edition of 66), inscribed 'pour my son, Jacqueline [Roque], Mougins le 26.9.74.' in ink on the back of the paper jacket, printed by Roger Lacourière, Paris, published by Latitud cuarenta y uno (Le Degré quarante et un), Paris, contained in original parchment cover with etching on front, covered with parchment reinforced by two pieces of gray cardboard, paper jacket with lettering, within stiff parchment made from an entire skin.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $35,000

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Evening & Day Editions

New York Auctions 21 April 2015