Pablo Picasso - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Georges Bloch 911
    Brigitte Baer 1228

  • Catalogue Essay

    As early as 1951, Picasso had made annual linocut posters for the Expositions and bullfights at Vallauris, assisted by a Vallauris printer, Arnéra. . . .Also at Vallauris, in 1947, the artist had begun to work with ceramics, with Suzanne and Georges Ramié, discovering new technical and artistic possibilities in this ancient art and enjoying the intimate relationship of artist and craftsman-collaborator within the small village workshop. Eleven years later, in 1958, Picasso again sought out the master printer Arnéra in nearby Vallauris, and began what was to become an epic initial series of forty-five multi-colored linocuts and a total production of over one hundred linocuts by 1963. (Donald H. Karshan, Experiments in Linogravure, Gagosian Gallery, Athens, 2010, p. 9)

    Picasso revolutionized the process of making prints using linoleum beginning in 1958, the same year that he moved to the South of France. There, this "linocut" printing method was already popular for creating advertisements or other posters that promoted local events, such as bullfights. Linoleum’s soft aspect allowed for a meandering line in which the artist could capture emotional crests and troughs of an energetic, live-action bullfight. With the liberating linocut method, Picasso explored his own cultural history while simultaneously upending long-practiced printing traditions with a radical method of printing multiple colors upon one linoleum block. A 1968 review of Picasso’s linocuts acclaimed “No other series of graphic works, aside from Goya’s, explores with such range the duality of man and beast . . .” (Donald H. Karshan, Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963, 1968.)

    He discovered that by printing in strong colors from the same block, after cutting away the unwanted parts, he could overprint more economically and obtain a density of color and texture which gave entirely new possibilities to the process as well as a subtle richness to the effects. To obtain these it was essential to see clearly from the start the consequences of each successive printing, because once the block had been altered by cutting away part of the surface there was no return. Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work.

  • 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. 

    View More Works

Property from a Private Collection


Pique (Bullfight)

Linocut in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 20 7/8 x 25 1/8 in. (53 x 63.8 cm)
S. 24 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (62.2 x 74.9 cm)

Signed and numbered 18/50 in pencil (there were also approximately 20 artist’s proofs), printed by Arnéra, published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1960, framed.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $52,500

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24 April 2018