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Picasso on Paper: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents linocuts depicting still lifes, bull fights, scenes from mythology and women

9 February, 2019

Pablo Picasso

For Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) graphic art was a medium he could experiment into his heart’s content. Picasso produced over 2,500 prints in a great variety of techniques.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has nearly four hundred of his prints in its collection, a selection of more than seventy of which will now be shown at the Kunsthal.

Some of the highlights in the exhibition ‘Picasso on Paper’ include the colour linocuts depicting still lifes, bull fights, scenes from mythology and especially women.

Picasso taught himself the technique of the colour linocut in 1958, when he was already well into his seventies.

This exhibition is also the kick-off of ‘Boijmans Next Door’, a collaboration between a number of Rotterdam museums to keep part of the Boijmans collection visible in the city over the coming years during the renovation.

Masterly control of the linocut technique
Without doubt, a series of eight subsequent proofs of the colour linocut ‘La Dame à la Collerette’ (1962) is one of the milestones in the exhibition.

This series, featuring a portrait Picasso made of his wife Jacqueline in historical attire, wonderfully demonstrates the artist’s working process while making prints.

‘La Dame à la Collerette’ unites two aspects of Picasso’s artistic work: his masterly control of the linocut technique and the recurring theme of ‘the woman’.

The woman as muse and model
Women not only played an important role in Picasso’s personal life, but also in his work. Picasso’s creativity was even influenced by his life partner or lover to such a degree that his sizable body of work is sometimes arranged according to the period he was together with a certain woman.

In an etching from 1905, one of his earlier prints, we encounter Madeleine, a model with whom he had a short relationship. And the young Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was his lover from 1927, was the principal muse for ‘Vollard Suite’ (1930-37). This series is another one of the highlights in the graphic work of Picasso.

In ‘Vollard Suite’ the woman, portrayed in many different situations, acts as the sculptor’s model. She is also made love to and spied on by the Minotaur, half man, half bull, in compositions with strong surrealistic undertones. In his later graphic work, eroticism and voyeurism remained important themes. Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986) was Picasso’s final life partner. Of all the portraits Picasso produced, those of Jacqueline make up the largest section.

Kunsthal during Boijmans Next Door
The Kunsthal helps in keeping the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen visible as part of the city-wide project ‘Boijmans Next Door’, in which eight locations are participating. Between January 2019 and January 2020, the Kunsthal will collaborate with Museum Boijmans on realising three exhibitions.

After ‘Picasso on Paper’, an exhibition of prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi will be shown from 25 May. And an exhibition on the subject of landscapes will follow in the autumn.

More about Boijmans Next Door
The international collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will fan out across Rotterdam. Over the coming years, about 500 masterpieces will find their way to eight neighbouring locations in eleven exhibitions.

‘Next Door’ is where new connections and encounters between the two separate collections of Boijmans and the host location will take place. In this way, the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will partly stay visible during the renovation of the museum building.


9 February, 2019
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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
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