Monday, March 8, 2021

Some Show Favorites: Picasso --- Day 9/321

Walk: Presidio Pickleball

Distance: 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Le Taureau, December 1945- January 1946, lithograph, wash, pen, scrapings on stone, printed on paper, 11 states

This series of lithographs is iconic, perhaps his most famous.  But Ciwt never tires of seeing the way Picasso takes The Bull, so close to the Spaniard artist's heart and identity, from a fully traditional ink drawing to its essence, as concise as a cave drawing.  Each state with its own character, but still the same bull.  For those who doubt or have forgotten Picasso's genius, Ciwt says Look Here.

She's also fascinated by the story told on the Norton Simon Museum site about the conditions under which Le Taureau and others of Picasso's highly original and accomplished lithographs were printed:  

 On Nov. 2, 1945, with France still under a provisional government and groceries still rationed in Paris, Picasso walked into the Mourlot Frères print shop in the rue de Chabrol. “He arrived as though he were going to battle,” the firm’s director, Fernand Mourlot, later recalled, and indeed the demands Picasso would place on Mourlot’s master printers were without precedent. He had produced only a few dozen lithographs in the 1910s and 1920s—all more or less conventional in their approach—but the designs he brought to Mourlot’s shop were far more daring, incorporating grattage, collage and mixed media. “How could anyone possibly print from that?” demanded Gaston Tutin, one of Mourlot’s master printers, calling the artist’s disregard for proper lithographic technique “a monstrosity.” But, cajoling his reluctant collaborators, Picasso swiftly and decisively transformed the practice of lithography, producing 185 plates over the next three years and more than 400 by the end of the 1960s.

Pablo Picasso, Femme, June 8, 1946, oil on plywood

Such a dear painting. Sometimes Ciwt forgets the way Picasso can somehow use hard lines and geometric forms to capture utterly the tender softness of love. 

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