A presentation of Pablo Picasso's original ceramics marks the beginning of Louisiana's 60th anniversary year. With more than 150 pieces, it is the first major exhibition in Scandinavia focusing on this late and lesser-known – but highly imaginative – part of Picasso's work.
In the summer of 1946, Picasso sojourned at Golfe-Juan in the south of France and attended a ceramics exhibition in Vallauris, an area well known for its many ceramic workshops. This experience was a turning-point for Picasso, who throughout his life sought new artistic challenges in all possible kinds of materials. Picasso immediately started experimenting with ceramic materials, oxides and glazes, and the ceramic processes and techniques – especially the unpredictable elements in the actual firing process, mainly because the colours are so difficult to control - clearly presenting him with a rich and interesting new challenge.
In 1948, Picasso formed a steady engagement with the Madoura workshop and decided to move permanently to the south of France. There – alongside his paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic works – he produced 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 more sculptural figures – animals, fauns and female figures that grow out of Picasso’s imagination as the wet clay takes form.
Over the years, Louisiana has presented several exhibitions focusing on special periods or themes in his oeuvre. This has been made possible due to an excellent collaboration with the Picasso family, and it is with strong support from the family as well as the Picasso museums in Paris, Antibes and Barcelona that it has been possible to gather and assemble a broad, thematic selection of the artist’s ceramic production from the years 1947-1964.
(Photo: Picasso, Round Plate with an Eye and Bulls, 20 May 1957, Musée national Picasso-Paris)