Pablo Picasso, ‘L'Étreinte II (Bloch 1151)’, 1963, Forum Auctions

Signed and numbered from the edition of 50 in pencil, on Arches paper, published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, with full margins, sheet 622 x 752mm (24 1/2 x 29 5/8in) (unframed)

Linocuts formed an important aspect of Picasso's late printmaking oeuvre, produced with the master printer Hidalgo Arnera, they form some of the most colourful and expressive of the artist's graphic works. The Rincée linocuts however are a departure from the standard process of printing, unlike the majority of his linocuts which were printed in bold, bright colours rincée linocuts are printed in stark white. However, the simplicity of inking is intentional, linocut ink is a thick oily substance and repels water, Picasso discovered that if he printed in white ink and then over worked the printed area in a black water-based ink he could create an almost negative image. The process was simple, Picasso took the printed sheets and rinsed them in the shower, hence the term rincée, washing the black ink from the oil-based white ink leaving only the merest traces of the black in the unprinted areas. The Rincée linocuts are some of the artist's most playful and technically unusual works, in general they were one offs produced as experimental artist's proofs, the present lot is one of the very few Rincée linocuts that was produced in an edition.

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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