Pablo Picasso Ceramics
Renowned worldwide as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso pioneered the ceramics medium with his stunning Madoura ceramics. Displaying a range of innovative techniques, artistic styles, and subject matters, Picasso's Madoura ceramics exemplify his artistic genius and love of experimentation in the sculptural medium. [Read biography »]
Pablo Picasso & His Madoura Ceramics
By the late 1940's, Pablo Picasso was withdrawing from the pressures of Paris and spending more time at his villa above the town of Vallauris in the south of France. In the summer of 1946, he visited a crafts fair and noticed the works of Madoura ceramic potters. Inspired to try the medium for himself, he asked Georges and Suzanne Ramie, who operated the studio, for the opportunity to work in their studio. From 1947 to 1971 the Ramies set aside space in their studio for Picasso to work whenever he pleased. This is where all of the Picasso ceramic in the world came from. In return, Picasso allowed the Ramies to make and sell editions of the ceramic pieces he produced at Madoura, and to retain all profits.
Picasso personally made hundreds of individual ceramic pieces, and kept virtually all of his own thrown pieces, most of which are now owned by his family or by museums. The Madoura studio and Picasso together produced 4,000 different plates, bowls, vases, pitchers, owls and other forms in limited editions ranging from 25 to 500. Picasso's involvement in producing the objects varied. Upon being passed a freshly created clay vessel, the artist would twist, stretch, punch and pierce the material to his own design. He would deliberately mismatch or reposition handles or spouts in order to ingeniously create facial or anatomical features on the ceramic objects.
Echoing his practice in painting, Picasso used not only the traditional potter's tools but anything else that came to hand – the blunt end of a pencil, cardboard or wire-netting were pressed into the still soft clay. Sometimes he made the clay molds used for designs, while other times he painted on plates or pitchers taken from the drying racks. Picasso and the Madoura artisans then finished the prototypes and produced the editions.
Picasso had such a passion for the medium and certainly enhanced his skills as an artisan as can be seen in the craftsmanship that has lasted over 60 years, both in value and beauty. As Georges Ramie states, "he gave himself up to it heart and soul, with that tireless vehemence he brought to everything, the indomitable ardor of those vocations that are all the more fruitful for being slow to appear. And it was from that moment- and thanks to the prestige of the work Picasso was yet to do- that ceramics, which many had always considered a minor art, began to enjoy an eminence hitherto unsuspected and now universally admitted" (pg. 17). A wonderful balance between tradition, innovation, partnership and creativity, it is not hard to understand why Picasso’s ceramics are so universally collected and cherished.
Picasso revolutionized the art world and to many is THE artist of the 20th century. He is famous for his role in pioneering Cubism with Georges Braque and for his melancholy Blue Period pieces. Picasso original signed lithographs and prints are a sure investment. Picasso Madoura ceramics are highly collectible in their own right.
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Artistic Styles of Picasso
Cubism, Blue Period, Rose Period, 20th Century Spanish Modern Master, Madoura ceramics of Vallauris, Vollard
News About Picasso
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