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CMA presents Picasso: Master Prints

On view April 16 – August 11, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - This spring, the Columbia Museum of Art presents a small, but luxurious exhibition, Picasso: Master Prints, featuring some of the artist’s greatest prints. The installation opens April 16 and is on view in the Mamie and William Andrew Treadway, Jr., Gallery 15 through August 11, 2013.

Picasso: Master Prints showcases etchings, lithographs and pochoirs by Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the 20th century. Best known as the inventor of Cubism, Picasso was prolific in still life, figurative art, and mythological scenes, all of which are featured in this exhibition. No matter what kind of print he was making or what the subject matter was, Picasso brought an extraordinary level of innovation and expertise to the art of printmaking, making every work in this exhibition a master print.

Fourteen of the prints in this exhibition are on loan to the CMA from the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC. Picasso sold these prints directly to his friends and active art collectors, Etta and Claribel Cone. In turn, the famous Cone sisters gave them to the Weatherspoon Museum. This selection includes a set of 10 color pochoirs (stencils) made in the early 1920s. The set of pochoirs in Master Prints was published by Picasso’s dealer of that time, Paul Rosenberg. Picasso’s images were inspired by his work for the famous Ballets Russe (Russian Ballet) and the Commedia dell’Arte, a 16th century form of Italian theatre characterized by masks. Themes from these two theatrical sources made their way into the prints through the characters of Harlequin (a clown) and Pulcinella (the ancestor of Punch). Visitors also see the guitar—the instrument of the wandering troubadour—reconfigured by way of Cubism.

In addition to the brilliantly colored pochoirs, this exhibition includes classic black and white work by the master. One is The Coiffure of 1923. In his neoclassical style, Picasso transforms the visual solidity of Greek sculpture into minimalist modern lines. Though this image is small in scale and the artist uses almost no detail, a sense of classical grandeur is realized by positioning the figures in a pyramid.

A selection of prints from Picasso’s most popular folio of etchings, The Vollard Suite, produced from 1900–1937, is also on view in this exhibition. These prints were made when Picasso was involved in a passionate affair with his muse and model, Marie-Thèrese Walter, whose classical features are a recurrent presence in the series. They offer an ongoing process of change and metamorphosis that eludes any final resolution.

“In Picasso: Master Prints, we see that the creativity of Picasso knew no bounds, making this small but dynamic exhibition a true must-see show,” CMA Chief Curator Will South said.

Sponsors

  • Mr. and Mrs. Gayle O. Averyt
  • Dr. Suzan D. Boyd and Mr. M. Edward Sellers
  • Mary Lou and Bob Burr
  • Mr. Robert W. Foster, Sr.
  • Ms. Ann Marie Stieritz and Mr. John B. Carran
  • Dr. Caroline Whitson
  • Walda Wildman CPA, LLC
  • Anonymous gift in memory of William L. Boyd, III

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