Anatomy of a Still Life
In art history, the still life has often been considered less important than portraiture or history painting due to its lack of human subject matter. Material pleasures are frequently represented in these artworks through objects like food, wine and cut flowers. They can also be rich with symbolism, at times warning of the brevity of human life. Since the early 20th century, the still life has been used as a relatively neutral basis for formal experimentation.
Pablo Picasso explored the still life throughout his long career—in painting, collage, sculpture and various forms of printmaking. Remai Modern’s collection of Picasso’s linocuts includes a large number of working proofs that have rarely been exhibited, offering intimate insight into the artist’s creative process. One extraordinary example, Nature Morte a la Pasteque (Still Life with Watermelon) includes 14 different working states to create an eight-colour linocut. This exhibition presents a tantalizing selection of still lifes, known in French as nature morte, created by Picasso in 1962.
Curated by Sandra Fraser, curator (Collections)
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) is among the most prolific, influential and innovative and artists of the 20th century. Remai Modern houses the most comprehensive collection of linocuts by this iconic Spanish modernist. The focused and specialized collection includes editioned prints, working states and experimental proofs that provide insight into the Picasso's process. All of the linocuts were produced in an 17-year period between 1951 and 1968, in collaboration with Picasso's 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.
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