Elevate Your Art Collection: Rare Pablo Picasso Linocuts

Picasso, c.1957, pictured with a linoleum block and print.

We trust this post finds you immersed in the beauty of fine art! We extend an exclusive invitation to witness a collection of Picasso’s extraordinary linocuts, representing a remarkable period of artistic exploration in his printmaking oeuvre. Of the more than 2,400 graphic works Picasso is known to have made only approximately 150 are linocuts!

Mere, Danseur et Musicien (Mother, Dancer and Musician)
Linoleum Cut on Arches, c.1959
One Block printed in Black, Brown and Beige
Sheet: 29.6″ x 24.3″ | #49/50
A joyous celebration, Picasso’s Mere, Danseur et Musicien is hand signed in the lower right margin and numbered 49 from the edition of 50 in pencil in the lower left margin. Printed by Arnéra, Vallauris. Published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris. This is a superb, well-inked impression with strong color.

Picasso, known for his diverse artistic expressions, immersed himself into the world of linocut printmaking between 1958 and 1968. This period witnessed the creation of some of his most outstanding compositions through this technique, despite it occupying a small portion of his printmaking repertoire. It was a unique convergence of geographic necessity and artistic curiosity that led the artist to embrace linocut, relinquishing his preferred means of graphic expression, etching and lithography.

Les Danseurs au Hibou (The Owl Dancers)
Linoleum Cut on Arches, c.1959
One Block Printed in Black and Brown
Sheet: 24.5″ x 29.6″ | Signed Artist’s Proof aside from the numbered edition of 50

In the 1950s, Picasso moved to the Côte d’Azur. Etching and lithography were harder to practice there, as both involved specialist equipment that wasn’t readily available and communication delays with the printing studios in Paris hindered the artist’s process. However, this circumstance sparked a creative transformation within Picasso’s artistic journey… Picasso’s initial encounter with linocut printing occurred in 1939, it wouldn’t be until 19 years later that he further delved into the technique, but he found the process laborious and intricate, involving the meticulous cutting and registration of separate color blocks to be printed atop one another.

The King of Clowns a.k.a. Carnaval
Linoleum Cut on Arches, c.1965
One Block printed in Black and Brown
Sheet: 29.5″ x 24.4″ | #126/160
Fun-loving and comical, Picasso’s Carnaval is instilled with a distinct sense of joy and playfulness. Created in 1965, this one block linocut printed in black and brown was published by Arnéra, Vallauris. Hand signed by Pablo Picasso in pencil in the lower right margin, this work is numbered 126 from the edition of 160 in pencil in the lower left margin.

However, Picasso’s return to linocut printing in 1958 unveiled an extraordinary solution to this technical challenge. Rather than employing individual blocks for each color, he pioneered the revolutionary “reduction” method, where the entire image was printed from a single block. The process commenced with the lightest color, followed by continuous cutting and successive printing of lighter to darker colors. Simplifying the registration task, this technique demanded an immense imagination to anticipate the impact of each modification on the composition as a whole. Picasso embraced this artistic experiment wholeheartedly, resulting in a creative liberation that birthed luminous and joyful images with wonderfully rich colors and bold patterns.

Le Pigeonneau (The Squab)
Linoleum Cut on Orange Wove Paper, c.1939
One Block in Brown Ink
6.25″ x 7.9″ | Signed Trial Proof
This impression of “Le Pigeonneu” has had 30 trial proofs in various colors on various papers, some of which are reworked in color pencils and crayons. These trial proofs were sold by Kapandji Morhange at the Hotel Drouot, Paris on October 19, 2011 (lot 147) from the Robert Blanchet Estate. These were printed on red, black, sepia and beige on various papers. There is a small pencil notation in the lower left corner, it is unknown whether that is a note from the print process or inventory notation. This color combination both the color of the paper and the ink color make this a truly special.

We cordially invite you to join us in the gallery or online to view this remarkable linocut collection. Immerse yourself in the intricate details, and profound narratives woven into each piece. We look forward to welcoming you to Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Gallery, where the genius of Picasso’s linocuts will captivate your heart and soul. – Cutter & Cutter Fine Art

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