Picasso engraving 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It is not every day that we get to see a quality collection of Picasso
engravings on our doorstep, but next week (opening September 15) the Sissman
Gallery in Tel Aviv will unveil 30 such works of art for our viewing pleasure in
the “Picasso – Engravings” exhibition.
Gallery owner Joseph Sissman is,
naturally, delighted to have obtained the works, which come from the collection
of New York gallery owner John Szoke, the world’s leading collector of Picasso
Sissman points out the importance of the format in the art
world. “Any self-respecting artist, from Chagall to Matisse, Braque and, of
course, Picasso, incorporated the printed medium in their work, and there were
workshops in France, Switzerland and Spain,” he explains.
The items in
the new exhibition were created over the course of half of a century of
Picasso’s long career and appear in a catalogue of the artist’s works compiled
by renowned Picasso researcher Georges Bloch.
“Bloch was the first person
to compile a catalogue of Picasso’s engravings, and the book is an important
source of information for collectors of engravings all over the world,” notes
He says that the works at his gallery were also selected with a
view to representing as wide a range as possible of Picasso’s printed
“We brought an engraving from his Minotaur series, another from
the works he made of his various lovers and partners, and one from his Artist in
the Studio line. These are highly prized works valued at hundreds of thousands
of dollars or even over a million dollars each.”
The gallery owner also
aims to introduce local art lovers to a side of Picasso’s work, and personality,
they may not have encountered before.
“This is an opportunity to put the
spotlight on an exciting technique that has not been adequately addressed in
this country,” says Sissman.
The new show focuses on the rich
compositions portrayed in Picasso’s trademark clean lines and depicts the way
the artist utilized his unique techniques to create a wide range of textures, as
well as aesthetic and topical depth. The latter was core to Sissman’s
considerations in choosing which works to bring here.
represent topics that engaged Picasso over the years and offer the viewer a
means of connecting with the various periods of his life,” says Sissman. “These
include, for example, the years between the two world wars, the time of the
Civil War in Spain and lesser-known topics, such as Picasso’s allegiance to the
communist movement. There is a story behind each of the
Besides being one of the greatest artists of the 20th
century, Picasso was a highly vivacious character whose passion for life – and
his sense of humor – comes through strongly in his works of art.
an artist who celebrated the vitality of life on all levels,” says Sissman. “You
sense the comedy in his works and, sometimes, even some degree of scorn. That
was the man and the artist.”
Sissman is also keen to note the great
effort Picasso invested in developing his printing skills. “He put a lot into
cultivating highly complex printing techniques. This enabled him to achieve a
visual richness comparable with that of his oil paintings. And don’t forget,
some of his engravings actually provided the basis for some of his best-known
Besides offering the public a rare view of such high-quality
works, Sissman hopes Israeli art lovers will come away from the exhibition with
a better understanding of the artist and a keener appreciation of his engraving
“I hope that people who come to the show will understand more
clearly the importance of engravings in Picasso’s work,” says the gallery owner,
“and the place of engravings in the art world as a whole.”The “Picasso –
Engravings” exhibition opens at the Sissman Gallery at 98 Hayarkon Street in Tel
Aviv on September 15. The show will close on November 4. For more information:
(03)522-2325 and www.sissmangallery.com