Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pablo Picasso - a pleasant surprise!

If you visit a Picasso exhibition it is taken for granted that it will be exciting and inspirational in some way. On Wednesday I organised (quite nonchalantly I must say) to visit an exhibition called Pablo Picasso -  The Colour Etched showing 140 linocuts produced by the artist from 1939 onwards.
My first surprise was the location which deserves a blog post all of it's own. The Forte di Bard is a rock fortress positioned at the beginning of the narrow Aosta Valley an hour's drive away from Turin. In all these years I am almost embarrassed to say I had never visited this wonderful and dramatic setting, any visitors I may have in the future will definitely enjoy a trip to this medieval village and fort.
Forte di Bard - Valle d'Aosta
The second surprise was the exhibition itself. On entering I found that at least one third of the pieces featured Picasso's matador and bullfighting works, a theme close to my heart. Picasso began experimenting with linocuts in 1939, creating linocut posters for ceramic exhibitions and bullfighting events. So with the perfect subject matter there was no excuse not to have a fabulous time!
Pablo Picasso Linocut Toros detail
Pablo Picasso Linocut Matador detail
The unique sets of etchings on show contained not only the finished works, but also the progressive proofs showing the sequence by which Picasso developed the final images. Picasso developed a new method for creating prints which saved huge amounts of time, but also presented tremendous challenges. The artist needed to be able to visualise the completed image at an early stage, and made it impossible to reverse any mistakes made during the cutting process. Picasso created over 2,500 prints in his lifetime which is a significant part of his total artistic output.
Pablo Picasso Linocut detail
Pablo Picasso Linocut detail
The grand finale is a room full of wonderful photographs by David Douglas Duncan the photojournalist who became a close friend of Picasso. The photographs reflect this 'intimate relationship' and depict Picasso relaxed in his studio and at home with Jacqueline Rouge.
Pablo Picasso with ceramic plate - photograph David Douglas Duncan
I'm afraid my photographs may not do justice to the quality of the works but the subject matter makes me want to post them all here on my blog. I will also upload some of my favourites on my Pinterest board Toret.

I am still struggling with my blog, I don't have time to write and post all the news I would like to. However, I hope you will bear with me and visit every now and then just the same. My plan is that this trend will be reversed and my little blog will again become an interesting and jolly place to visit.