An important new Picasso show, featuring works from the collection of the artist’s son, reveals both artistic vision and private passion.
Pablo Picasso is inarguably one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, his paintings having captivated viewers and inspired fellow artists for decades. And the popular appetite for his work only continues to grow, with his painting Women of Algiers recently selling for a record-breaking $179 million. But far less is known about Picasso’s printmaking.
In “Picasso—Creatures & Creativity,” the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art offers a rare look into the artist’s exploration of other media—in this case, lithographs and linocuts—which resulted in works that would shape his paintings yet that stand on their own as accomplished modern pieces. Produced from 1938 to 1971, they reveal the stages that Picasso went through, laboriously and methodically, in creating a work of art, providing a glimpse of his thought process.
“It allows us to show the evolving artistic vision and how these techniques of the linocuts and lithographs are influential in the new direction of his works,” says Tarissa Tiberti, the gallery’s executive director. “The lithographs are great because you can see these progressive states in compositions…. He was curious and wanted to know about everything. Here you see the line works in prints that would influence his painting.”
The exhibit is unique because its 43 works (eight of them paintings) are from the collection of the artist’s son Claude Ruiz Picasso. They include Deux Femme Nues (Two Female Nudes), which depicts two of the artist’s muses: Françoise Gilot, seated in the foreground, and Dora Maar, sleeping behind her—a reflection of the roles the women played at that time in his life and his work.
The Bellagio Gallery’s last solo Picasso exhibit was a ceramics show mounted by his grandson Bernard Ruiz Picasso and PaperBall, a subsidiary of the former PaceWildenstein Gallery. It offered a riveting film clip of the artist working in real time, catnip for Picasso devotees who wanted to witness his creative process in action. For many, “Picasso—Creatures & Creativity” will likely have the same impact. July 3–January 10, 2016. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, 702-693-7871