Artist's Proofs from the Archives of Roger Lacouriere
Pablo Picasso is perhaps the world's most famous artist. Early on in his career he made the decision not to rest on his ability to paint absolutely realistically, but to make his name based on innovation and abstraction. From his early twenties until his death in 1973, his artistic response to his times came to define the spirit of the age. His significance cannot be overstated as a painter, a personality, and as a graphic artist. Printers who worked with Picasso noted that he was undaunted by the often complicated process of printmaking and that he made the medium suit his needs rather than capitulating to convention. As a result, he was responsible for the invention of several innovative procedures and techniques − reductive block printing, for example.
Much of Picasso's graphic work was produced near the end of his life, and continued to examine many of the themes he had pursued throughout his career − portraits, the gaze, the artist and his model, the Minotaur, and variations on past masters such as Rembrandt and Cranach. But his print work became far more narrative in nature. Printmaking allowed Picasso a small tableau where he would watch the stories of his "creatures" unfold; of these lyrical, often erotic, works he said, "It's my way of writing fiction.”
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