Printmaking as Experiment
Pablo Picasso is considered the quintessential modern artistic genius. With apparent ease, he availed himself of a wide variety of genres, techniques and materials. Especially printmaking offered him a medium for experimentation and ever-new manifestations of the pleasure he took in inventing. The exhibition examined Picasso's innovative use of relief, intaglio and planographic printing methods from his early Paris years to his late period.
The Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings devoted an exhibition titled “Picasso. Printmaking as Experiment” specifically to Pablo Picassos (1881–1973) graphic oeuvre. Featuring more than sixty etchings, lithographs and linoleum cuts, the exhibition presented a selection from the holdings of the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings, enhanced by a small number of loans from the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and a private collection. The selection vividly illustrated the full range and development of Picasso’s graphic oeuvre from the early years in Paris to his late work.
Whether etching, drypoint, lithography, or linocut, with never-dwindling curiosity and virtuosity, Picasso gained expertise in a wide variety of printmaking techniques, always questioning what he had found in new and experimental ways. The exhibition was structured according to the various printing techniques, which are always closely linked to the artist’s biography. The print series “Suite Vollard”, which Picasso created between 1930 and 1937 and with which he made full artistic use of the diversity of intaglio printing techniques, had its own section within the exhibition.
Images: Pablo Picasso, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, © Succession Picasso / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
Curator Dr. Theresa Nisters (Städel Museum)