Pablo Picasso created an astounding printed oeuvre, from his earliest Saltimbanques of 1904 until the Suite 156, completed a year before he died at age 91. Picasso not only masters every technique of printing he approaches, he appropriates it, reinvents it and breaks through all artistic boundaries. From the subtle alchemy of sugarlift aquatints to the raw craftsmanship of the linocuts, Picasso – in print as in life – never ceases to explore.
Often unashamedly autobiographical in nature, Picasso deals in his prints with the “obsession du jour”, be it a new mistress or muse, his love for the drama of bullfighting or his eternal fascination for classical art and mythology. He also depicts the artist in his many phases: a god, a lover, a voyeur, an evolving creature that never ages. The same topics come back to him throughout his life: each time Picasso adds new layers and works, until he conquers it.
Gilden’s Arts Gallery brings you an outstanding collection which exemplifies what is undoubtedly the most innovative printmaker of all times. We are proud to show important works from the early Suite Vollard as well as outstanding linocuts from the artist’s Vallauris’ time and the whole “La Celestina” series. In 1968, Picasso again returns to the subject and within about seven months, he creates 66 works, mainly sugarlift aquatint etchings, as illustrations for the story of Celestina. They also constitute Picasso’s last comprehensive illustrative work before he passes away in 1973.