Pablo Picasso - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Following a move to Vallauris in 1947, Picasso experimented in a variety of media and styles. La Poule of 1952 exemplifies a momentary affiliation to realism for the artist, diverting from the more abstract imagery he was producing in paint and ceramics at the time. In La Poule, Picasso carefully renders the individual plumes of the monochromatic hen using subtle gradations in tone. Curved lines are also used to add structure and volume to the bird’s body. The print is a study in the variations of marks that Picasso was able to create through the techniques of aquatint and drypoint. 

    'Pablo loved to surround himself with birds and animals. In general they were exempt from the suspicion with which he regarded his other friends' —Françoise GilotEager for a change after the Second World War and the end of Nazi occupation in France, Picasso left Paris for the small seaside town of Vallauris with Françoise Gilot, and their children, Claude and Paloma. In Vallauris, Picasso worked prolifically in various media, revisiting subject matter he had previously depicted, such as barnyard animals. Often infused with symbolism, animals such as horses, bulls and cockerels had regularly featured as part of his iconography. Guernica of 1937, possibly the artist’s most famous painting and a powerful anti-war masterpiece, contains various animals contorted or screeching out in pain in a condemnation of violence. In comparison, the peacetime print of La Poule is devoid of political symbolism, and instead comes to exemplify the artistic liberation that Picasso found in Southern France and the creative possibilities his move to Vallauris afforded him.

    • Provenance

      Waddington Graphics, London
      Corporate Collection, London

    • Literature

      Georges Bloch 694
      Brigitte Baer 896

    • 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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La poule (The Hen) (Bl. 694, Ba. 896)

Aquatint, drypoint and scraper, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 51.2 x 66.5 cm (20 1/8 x 26 1/8 in.)
S. 56.8 x 75.5 cm (22 3/8 x 29 3/4 in.)

Signed and numbered 23/50 in pencil (there were also 15 artist's proofs), printed by Roger Lacourière, published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 ♠†

Sold for £23,940

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 September 2022