“Picasso: Select Prints and Ceramics”
An exhibition of nearly 30 pieces of art, “Picasso: Select Prints and Ceramics” is currently on display at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art until August 23, 2012.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is one of the best-known modern artists of the 20th century. Born in Spain in 1881, the culture of his homeland would have a lasting effect on his art. While Picasso is remembered by most for his paintings, he was also an accomplished artist in the mediums of etching, lithography, and ceramics. “Picasso: Select Prints and Ceramics” at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art opens visitors eyes to the enormous talent of Picasso and his achievements in various artistic mediums.
Located on the second floor of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition features fourteen lithographs on paper from the series “Toros: Scéne de Comida,” where Picasso explores the journey of a bullfight. Beginning with the formal moments before a fight, Picasso focuses on the costume and characters central to a bullfight. He then explores the action of the fight itself, recreating the interaction between the toreador, his cape and the bull inside the arena.
Also featured on the second floor are five ceramic pieces by Picasso. Included are three ceramic plates from 1952 and one vase, featuring an owl, from 1958. ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbé,’ an incised ceramic from 1958, references famous painting by Edouard Manet, of the same title (ca. 1862-63). This piece successfully displays Picasso’s reverence for the history of art and his desire to modernize various artists.
My favorite piece of art on display is entitled ‘Femme au chapeau’ from 1962. This colorful linocut on paper is a portrait of Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque, who would serve as a muse throughout his later career. ‘Femme au chapeau’ again displays Picasso’s interest in the history of art. With references to ‘Portrait of a Young Lady’ by Lucas Cranach the Younger of the mid to late 16th century, ‘Femme au chapeau’ is an exciting representation of the depth of Picasso’s work.
While the exhibition focuses on the work of Picasso, there are also pieces on display by the artist Edouard Chillida (1924-2002). Chillida was a good friend of the Bechtler family and is also an artist of Spanish decent.
Overall, “Picasso: Select Prints and Ceramics” gave valuable insight into the work of Picasso outside of his more famous paintings. The depth of knowledge provided by the curatorial staff is of great importance, as it guides visitors throughout the exhibition.
A Picasso quote in the main lobby of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art perfectly sums up one’s feelings upon leaving the exhibition: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” After viewing the “Picasso: Select Prints and Ceramics” exhibition, visitors will feel both enlightened and relaxed.