Five stunning collections of prints by the 20th century master debut here to celebrate STPI Gallery’s reopening after months of renovations. Gwen Pew finds out more.
26 Jun 2013: While Pablo Picasso is better remembered as of the pioneer of Cubism and for his paintings and sculptures, it is a little known fact that he was actually also a master of prints. Born in 1881 in Málaga, Spain, the celebrated artist had spent years experimenting with lithographs and linocuts; now for the first time, 48 of those works from his son Claude Picasso’s private collection are in Asia, at the newly refurbished Singapore Tyler Print Institute Gallery.
‘The works [on show] span a range of 20 years of Picasso’s creativity, from 1945 to 1965,’ says Tatyana Franck, the Geneva-based curator of this exhibition. ‘STPI’s expertise in printmaking is very relevant to the works in this exhibition, which reveal a more intimate side of Picasso and his practice in the print medium through the expressive quality of his lithographs, linocuts and rare corresponding plates.’
Lithographs are created by drawing mirror images on lime stones or metal plates using grease-based drawing materials, which are processed and inked and then printed onto paper, as the water will repel oily ink. Linocuts, on the other hand, require the artist to directly carve into a sheet of linoleum in layers, which is then coloured with ink by a roller and pressed onto paper or fabric.
Apart from the prints, 11 photographs by American photographer David Douglas Duncan, now 95, will also be on show. ‘Pablo Picasso appears to have been constantly fascinated by the photographic medium. His face was the subject of numerous photographs and he was the most photographed artist of his time,’ says Franck. Duncan, however, was ‘the only photographer admitted into [Picasso’s] private life, to experience his day-to-day living and to maintain such a close friendship with the artist until his death.’