LONDON.- Marlborough Fine Art
, London is holding an important exhibition of prints by Pablo Picasso celebrating the theme of woman as muse in various graphic media, ranging from etching and drypoint, to linocut and lithography. It is the second and final venue for this show, which was highly acclaimed by The New York Times during its installation at Marlborough Gallery, New York. It is the first comprehensive overview of the subject as specifically depicted in Picassos graphic oeuvre.
In an exploration of Picassos extraordinary creativity and pioneering use of the media of printmaking, the theme of the muse provides an important new perspective for appreciating his significant achievements in printmaking. The show features works spanning his entire career from his first print, Le Repas frugal, 1905, to selections from the tour-de-force of his late period, the Suite 347 of 1968.
Marilyn McCully, in her essay for the exhibition catalogue, comments on the importance of the graphic medium to Picasso: composition leads to the next. A sequence of engravings or aquatints, which he exploited to compose complex myths and stories rather than simple illustrations, also allowed him to probe visual ideas in new directions. The scenes that he was inspired by a succession of Muses are acted out by a cast of familiar characters (including the artist himself), who often change roles and appear in different combinations, performing on a very personal stage. The intimate scale of printmaking and of the prints themselves also provided an occasion for Picasso to reflect on the nature of his art and the creative process and to probe deeply into his inner most thoughts and desires.