Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Ajuntament de Barcelona

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The 156 engravings

May 26th - September 4th

Between 1963 and 1972, Picasso returned to calligraphy engraving or engraving on metal. In this period he worked with the printing brothers Piero and Aldo Crommelynck. The result of this collaboration was, amongst others, the two major series that were particular to the last period of Picasso the engraver, with more than five-hundred and twenty engravings: the 347 engravings carried out between March 16th and October 5th 1968, and the 156 engravings, which were produced between October 24th 1968 and March 25th 1972.

In the exhibition, we present the prints that make up the series of the 156 engravings, published by the Galerie Louise Leiris.

The prints which are included in this series continue the unbridled spirit of addressing the burgeoning eroticism from the previous series. A large number of the characters take part in these, representing a seemingly idle, fun and joyful world, in which the melancholy of frustrated desire and lost virility are underlying. The uncontrolled desire of the mind that doesn’t allow the old painter to develop his erotic fantasies beyond the act of creating.

The allusions to the masters of the past are fluent in Picasso’s late work. The engravings from the later years are overflowing with references: Rembrandt, Velázquez, Goya, Ingres, Delacroix, Manet... and, above all, Degas, who enjoy the favours of the man from Malaga in many of the prints of the series. In the 156 engravings, Picasso pays particular homage to Degas with the series of prints dedicated to the tale La Maison Tellier by Guy de Maupassant.

Curated by: Claustre Rafart