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Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000
PABLO PICASSO Nature Morte à la Pastêque.
Color linoleum cut, 1962. 592x715 mm; 23 3/8x28 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed and numbered 104/160 in pencil, lower right. Printed by Arnéra, Vallauris. Published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris. A superb, richly-inked impression of this large print, with vibrant colors.
Among Picasso's most prolific and intense bursts of activity with a printmaking medium is the oeuvre of more than 150 color linoleum cuts that he produced during a decade-long period from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. Picasso embraced the technique of color linoleum cut, as he approached his late 70s, turning away from his preferred etching and lithography. During this time he was introduced to his soon-to-be second wife, Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986), who appears as the subject in many of these works, and was proactive in ceramic design while working at the Madoura pottery workshop in Vallauris, near his studio in the south of France (see lots 317-320).
Picasso developed an extraordinary solution to the labor-intensive and cumbersome necessity of printing a color linoleum cut from multiple blocks, each representing a different color in the completed subject and requiring strict attention to registration: rather than use separate blocks for each color, he printed the whole image from just one block in the so-called "reduction" method. The single block was printed in the lightest color, then cut further and printed successively from the lighter to the darker colors. While this required immense creativity, to plan how each successive cutting of the linoleum block would produce the final composition, and allowed little room for error, it also enabled Picasso relative freedom of proofing these prints without the multiple steps and many additional studio hands necessary for etching and lithography; this creative liberation resulted in some of the most luminous and joyful images in Picasso's entire oeuvre. Bloch 1098; Baer 1301.