PABLO PICASSO “CAPTURED” BY EROS: RARE PROOFS FROM THE MARINA PICASSO COLLECTION AT LESLIE SACKS FINE ART (L.A.)

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“When art historian Jean Leymarie was preparing a talk for a symposium on art and sexuality, he asked his friend Pablo Picasso where he drew the line between these two concepts. The painter replied, ‘They are the same thing, because art can only be erotic.’ It is impossible to understand Picasso’s art if, from prudishness, we brush aside the physiological realities of his rich sexual experiences. They are the launching pad of his creative energy. For Picasso, painting and making love derived from the same act. His enjoyment as a man promoted the power of the work by stimulating him. To dismiss sex is to exclude oneself from the land of the living. Sex and death are two relinquishments, but whereas one is a last farewell to life, the other is life itself and is perpetuated through its descendants.”

From adolescence through old age, Picasso’s two great passions were women and art, and these came together in his erotic works. The most famous of these is his monumentally important painting of 1907, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (collection MoMA) which is viewed by most art historians as the prototypical modern painting. But of all of Picasso’s multitudinous erotic adventures in various media, the etchings are by far his most important body of work. Each is highly charged with the unbridled life force that infused all of his best works, erotic and otherwise. The range of emotion and sensation is tremendous, communicated not merely through narrative imagery but more fundamentally in lines, textures and shapes that embrace the lust, grace, pathos and humor of uncensored human sexuality.

These works are registered with the Picasso Archives in Paris and bear the oval stamp and inventory number of the Marina Picasso Collection on verso, she being a granddaughter and successor in direct ownership under the aegis of the Picasso estate. Each of these prints bears the Picasso atelier signature and pencil annotation, “epreuve avant acierage” (translation: proof before steel facing). They were stored unframed since their creation until acquired by Leslie Sacks Fine Art, and are therefore in pristine condition. These prints are early proofs, pulled before steel facing of the plates, and are therefore richer in contrast than the regular edition, and only three or five examples of each proof were printed. They were originally part of Picasso’s personal collection. Master printers Aldo and Piero Crommelynck pulled these proofs. Examples are in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale and Musée Picasso, Paris, the Museo Picasso, Barcelona, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago and other notable print collections around the world.

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* Excerpts from Picasso: Art Can Only Be Erotic, by Diana Widmaier Picasso, Prestel Publishing, 2005.

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* Leslie Sacks Fine Art, 11640 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049

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* Leslie Sacks Contemporary, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue B6, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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info@lesliesacks.com

www.lesliesacks.com

One response to “PABLO PICASSO “CAPTURED” BY EROS: RARE PROOFS FROM THE MARINA PICASSO COLLECTION AT LESLIE SACKS FINE ART (L.A.)

  1. Pingback: Pen & Ink Caricature of Picasso - William Tillis

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