Pablo Picasso (Malaga 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973) made around two thousand, two hundred prints, from eighteen years old until 1972, one year before his death. His great talent and creativity generates one of the most extensive and varied artistic productions of the twentieth century. Within the range of exhibitions on Picasso at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, some of them include his print productions, such as Picasso Grabador, held in 1993 and Picasso: las grandes series, which is held in 2001.
In this case, the exhibition on the artist's graphic work gathers ninety-five prints selected from the one hundred and thirty that belong to the Museo Reina Sofía. The collection of works initiates with a tour around the Brazilian territory, beginning in the capital where you can see some of his most emblematic series.
Picasso does not give a title to any of his works, with the exception of Guernica (1937), but he does give them a date. In the case of prints, the artist includes sequence numberings so that a review of his work is similar to reading a diary and allows the contemplation of the creative process with precision.
In this exhibition three of the most important series are found. The first is Suite Vollard, referring to the publisher and art dealer Ambroise Vollard. This series is produced between September 1930 and June 1936 and is considered the peak of Picasso’s neoclassicism. Of the hundred prints that make up the series, numbers 60 to 95 are displayed.
Following it is Suite 347, whose main theme is the painter and model, also present in Suite Vollard. Composed of three hundred forty-seven prints, the series is produced in just seven months in 1968. Picasso recovers in it the figure of La Celestina (1904), one of his last pieces from the blue period, which re-appears in his compositions, along with several self-portraits.
Suite 156 is composed of prints between 1970 and 1971. The series uses the female figure as a central theme and in it Celestina appears again, along with Edgar Degas and Picasso himself, who portrays himself as a spectator. Numbers 34 to 59 of this series are included in this exhibition.
Finally, nineteen prints that do not correspond to any specific series are also on display, although they do address themes that occur in some of the series already mentioned. These include Alegría maternal (1922), the earliest piece owned by the Museo Reina Sofía collection; Minotauro ciego guiado por una niña I (1934); Sueño y mentira de Franco (I and II) (1937) and Mujer llorando I and Mujer llorando II (1937), which are part of his studies related to Guernica.
The autobiographical overtones of Picasso's work are seen in the inclusion in some of the prints in this exhibition of the figure of Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot, Jacqueline Roque and Marie-Thérèse Walter, some of the women who accompany him during his lifetime.
Palacio de las Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brasil (December 10, 2002 - January 12, 2003); Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre (January 21 - February 23, 2003); Museo de la Ciudad, Quito (March 27 - May 11, 2003); Fundación Malecón, Guayaquil (May 22 - June 29, 2003)
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