Pablo Picasso, ‘La Pique (Bloch 908; Baer 1227A)’, 1959, Forum Auctions

Signed and inscribed 'Essai' in pencil, a trial proof aside from the edition of 50, with margins, sheet 621 x 750mm (24 3/8 x 29 1/2in) (unframed)


Working trial proofs of Picasso's linocuts are incredibly scarce. The present impression printed with particularly deep relief and with vibrant colours is identical in scale and configuration to another trial proof sold at Artcurial, Paris, on May 31, 2011, lot 229, which was dedicated to Picasso's master linocut printer Hidalgo Arnéra. Notably both works share the same slightly right aligned registration of the yellow block, which suggests that the proofs are from the same state and were printed at the same time in order for the artist to resolve the image for the final state.

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About Pablo Picasso

A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. “Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.

Spanish, 1881-1973, Malaga, Spain, based in Paris and Mougins, France