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  Picasso Ceramics

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Picasso became intrigued with ceramics as a creative medium in 1947.   Examples of his bold and colorful ceramic creations were selected for this Saper Galleries exhibition as a contrast to the two-dimensional, lighter graphic oeuvre that was a focus of Picasso's for most of his life.

The ceramics, like the graphics, convey a sense of spontaneity but due to their gestural strength and color have even more vitality and vibrancy.  Picasso was never satisfied in creating color prints, preferring the simplicity of the black and white.  Even his linocuts, where he could easily control the color, were generally printed in very few shades of brown.

The selection of clay as a medium and the use of mythological and classical themes in his ceramics was an influence Picasso gained through his interest in Iberian and Mediterranean subjects, harkening back to his roots from the Catalan area while working in southern France.

Just as Picasso was amazingly productive as a printmaker, so too he enjoyed creating ceramics, producing more than 2,000 pieces from October 1947 to the fall of 1948, embodying innovations in form, technique, and the use of colors.

In 1953 Picasso met artist Jacqueline Roque at Madoura Pottery in Vallauris where she worked and he created his ceramics.  In 1961 they married and moved to Mougins, France where Picasso continued creating ceramics until his death in 1973.

Picasso sought to create editions of his ceramics very much like an original graphic may be created in a limited edition.  In working with Madoura Pottery workshop that challenge became a possibility and a selection of Picasso's limited edition ceramics are a feature of this Saper Galleries exhibition.

Although ceramics are often deemed a craft, for Picasso the plates, jugs, vases, and other vessels that he created were a form of canvas.  With a sense of liberation he experimented with the play between decoration and form, between two and three dimensions and between personal and universal meaning. 

The ceramics in this exhibition may be seen as a form of both sculpture and painting in a single creative expression.

Do enjoy the examples displayed here at Picasso: Original Graphics and Ceramics, May 7 - July 2, 2006.

Picasso at Maudoura Pottery workshop in 1953
Picasso at Madoura Pottery workshop in 1953

Picasso at Madoura Pottery in France
Picasso at Madoura Pottery in Vallauris, France

Picasso ceramics at Madoura
Picasso ceramics at Madoura

Still life plate, 1953
Still Life, 1953
ceramic plate
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