Saskatoon's Picasso collection includes one-of-a-kind prints
When you hear "Picasso" what comes to mind?
Some think of paintings, others maybe sculptures, but Saskatoon's Remai Art Gallery just secured the largest collection of original Picasso linocut prints in the world--405 in total.
The collection is just as prestigious as a collection of Picasso paintings, according to the art gallery's chief curator Lisa Baldissera.
She said the prints could only have come from two places: Picasso's estate, and his master printer Hidalgo Arnera.
In this case, the man with the collection Dr. Frederick Mulder acquired the prints from Arnera, with whom he had a 20-year friendship.
Baldissera said Picasso would give Arnera his drawings and Arnera would carve them into a plate. Paper was then rolled onto the plate through the presses with ink, producing the linocut--a specific type of print.
Some of the prints went on to become "editioned", which means there are 50 other copies elsewhere in the world. However, Picasso did not edition all his prints.
"So we have, in some cases, things that there are only one or two or three copies in the world," said Baldissera.
She said Saskatoon's collection is unique because it is the only one in the world with almost a complete set of everything Picasso did in that specific area of printmaking.
He only produced 197 linocut images, 193 of which Saskatoon has, compared to some collections where thousands of prints were made.
"So that makes them even more precious. They are the pristine first proofs that Picasso approved. The quality of the color is as though they were just done because they have been stored for many years," said Baldissera.
The collection also includes 212 "working proofs" which Baldissera described as containing notes and directions from Picasso to the master printer.
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