Remai Modern houses the most comprehensive collection of linocuts by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). This focused and specialized collection includes editioned prints, working states and experimental proofs that provide insight into the artist’s process—a rare glimpse into one of the 20th century’s most prolific and innovative artists.
All of Picasso’s linocuts were produced in an 17-year period between 1951 and 1968, with his master printer, Hidalgo Arnera (1922-2007). With Arnera’s expertise and support, the artist worked hands-on to understand, and push, the limits and possibilities of the linocut process. The collection includes posters Picasso made for the local bullfights and the summer pottery exhibitions. The posters were printed in editions of 200 to 600, whereas many of the linocuts were printed in editions of 50, some in editions of just a few.
Picasso’s ceramic works in the collection, executed during this same time, provide a fuller picture of his artistic production in Vallauris, in the south of France. Before embarking on the linocuts, Picasso had begun working in the Madoura pottery studio, run by Suzanne and Georges Ramié. Popular subjects include bullfighting, owls, fish, and mythological motifs. Some of the plates and plaques make specific reference to the prints, both in subject and in style. As with the linocuts, Picasso’s ceramics were typically produced in large editions for a broad market.
Remai Modern’s collection consists of 194 out of 197 linocut subjects known to exist, in addition to 212 working proofs. This group of linocuts was assembled by Frederick Mulder, a UK art dealer and world expert in 19th- and 20th-century European prints, who is originally from Eston, Saskatchewan. In 2012, the Remai Foundation purchased 405 linocuts from Mulder, with the purpose of donating them to Remai Modern. In 2014, Mulder made a gift of 23 ceramics along with one of the remaining four linocut subjects bringing the linocut collection to a total of 406 works.
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