Picasso famously said he spent his long career learning to draw like a child again, so it is no wonder he never stopped experimenting with paper – that most basic material. To explore the importance of paper in his work, the Royal Academy will stage an extensive exhibition, set to include over 300 loans, spanning the entirety of his 80-year career, many hailing from the Musée national Picasso-Paris.
Picasso used paper to develop and produce some of the 20th century’s most iconic artworks. He was always drawing, but he made collages, too. And if you think that art on paper has to be small, think again. Set to be included in this exhibition is Women at their Toilette (1937-38), a monumental collage measuring 4.5 metres in length. It will be exhibited in the UK for the first time in 50 years.
Pablo Picasso. Women at their Toilette (1937-38). Musée Picasso.
Preparatory sketches will be also displayed alongside final paintings and sculptures, such as the bronze Head of a Woman (Fernande), 1909. For print lovers, there will be a variety of techniques on show here, including etching (made using a metal plate), lithograph (printed from stone), linocut (a technique that uses linoleum) and woodcut (made using a wooden bowl in Picasso's case).
This exhibition will also examine some of the collaborative photograms he made with Dora Maar, as well as illustrated books, and decorated letters and cards. The show promises to be an inspirational treat. Picasso's signature cubist style may well have died with him, but in his collages you can see the influence he had on the pop art of 1960s, especially in the early work of Peter Blake and David Hockney, and perhaps even Paula Rego.
Paper is the cheapest and most accessible commodity an artist has, so it can be used boldly. And there have been few artists as bold as Picasso.
|What||Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy|
|Where||Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
25 Jan 20 – 13 Apr 20, Daily 10am–6pm, Fridays 10am–10pm.
|Website||Click here for more information|