For nearly all of his career, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) engaged in printmaking with a gusto and freedom from tradition that is thrilling to experience. No print medium intimidated him, and his prodigious facility in etching, lithography and linocut led him to deconstruct and reinvent conventional practices. Picasso favored the possibility of discovery over technical perfection.
Unseen Picasso examines select prints from the artist’s well-known graphic oeuvre that are distinctive, rare or infrequently exhibited. Though prints are usually produced in multiples, one-of-a-kind impressions are sometimes pulled in the course of a print run. These may be proofs or undescribed states in an edition. Or, an individual impression may be printed on a different material, such as vellum or japan paper. A particular impression may be a pristine example in a medium where certain colors tended to fade or shift in color. And, some compositions stand apart because they do not feature the subjects or technical approaches typically associated with prints by the artist. Unseen Picasso offers viewers the opportunity to study innovative, seldom seen prints by one of the 20th century’s greatest practitioners in the medium.