Picasso: A Graphic Inquiry


Picasso: A Graphic Inquiry

March 20, 2010
August 01, 2010

About the Exhibit

March 20, 2010 – August 1, 2010

Pablo Picasso
Seated Girl, 1951 (frontispiece to Recodant el Doctor Reventos)
Engraving and drypoint
The Leo Steinberg Collection

The Blanton Museum of presents Picasso: A Graphic Inquiry from March 20 through August 1, 2010. The exhibition highlights seventeen significant graphic works, including the lithographic Head of a Woman (1925), four works from the acclaimed Suite Vollard (1930-1937), including the Blind Minotaur Guided by a Young Girl in the Night and Bust in Profile (1957), one of many images he created of his young wife Jacqueline Roque. Jonathan Bober, Blanton curator of European Art states, “The Blanton’s holdings of Picasso’s prints represent the artist’s tremendous range, and a number of works––like the Tête de femme of 1925, The Blind Minotaur, and the Buste de profil––are among his most important.” Many of the works were acquired by the museum as part of the Leo Steinberg collection, considered to be one of the most important and prolific print collections in the country.

Pablo Picasso’s involvement with printmaking was a passionate and lifelong creative endeavor.  His prolific output of prints underscored his development as an artist and revealed his seemingly limitless capacity for reinvention. This exhibition of Blanton’s holdings highlights Picasso’s uncanny ability to explore and experiment with the medium’s variety of techniques.

Born in Málaga on the Mediterranean coast of Spain in 1881, Pablo Picasso spent his formative years in small Spanish towns studying art with his father, a painter and instructor, and attending local art schools.  As a young man in Paris, he was introduced to the avant-garde movement and its advocates Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, American collector Gertrude Stein, and Ambroise Vollard, his principle art dealer. Exceptionally prolific in a variety of mediums throughout his career, Picasso’s artistic ingenuity flowed from one innovative idea to the next, inspiring generations of artists before his death in 1973 at age 91.

While many of his contemporaries explored printmaking, they did so for only a short time. Picasso’s involvement with the medium spanned his entire career, resulting in a massive graphic oeuvre.  The artist utilized this medium for thematic development, focusing on a single subject for several plates and returning to the idea repeatedly.

Picasso’s generative career demanded the attention of critics and scholars from early on and his appeal continues today. Several of the works displayed were once in the collection of Leo Steinberg, whose essays, written during the 1960’s, are still revered today as an authority on the twentieth century master.

“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” by Steve Martin at the Austin Playhouse Through May 2!

A wonderful complement to this exhibition, the Austin Playhouse is presenting “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” by Steve Martin through May 2.

A comedy set in 1904, the play presents the moment in time when Einstein and Picasso were both on the verge of executing tremendous genius. The play attempts to explain in a light-hearted way, the similarity of the creative process involved with great leaps of imagination in art and science, set against the backdrop of the famous cabaret bar in Montmartre, Paris. Tickets are available through the Austin Playhouse at (512) 476-0084 or www.austinplayhouse.com.

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