In the summer of 1946 Picasso sojourns at Golfe-Juan in the south of France and attends a ceramics exhibition in Vallauris, an area well known for its many ceramic workshops. This experience becomes a turning-point for Picasso, who throughout his life sought new artistic challenges in all possible kinds of materials. Picasso immediately starts experimenting with ceramic materials, oxides and glazes as well as the ceramic processes and techniques – especially the unpredictable elements in the actual firing process, mainly because the colours are so difficult to control – clearly presents him with a rich and interesting new challenge.
In 1948 Picasso establishes a steady engagement with the atelier Madoura and decides to move permanently to the south of France. There, alongside with his paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic works, he produces about 4000 ceramic objects. Some involve the painting and reworking of plates, jugs and dishes that have already gone into production at the Madoura pottery, others are executed in a more sculptural way – animals, fauns and female figures that grow out of Picasso’s imagination.
Picasso designs ca 633 different ceramic models between 1947 and 1971, along with a number of different versions and also unique pieces resulting from these initial works. In the beginning he makes primarily decorated utilitarian objects, such as plates and bowls, later he produces more complex forms in the shape of pitchers and vases — their handles occasionally shaped to form facial features, or anatomical parts. With Picasso remaining one of the highest appreciated artists at auction today, the range of his ceramics means that you have a chance to choose a work that is both an investment and something you will cherish for a long time.
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