Pablo Picasso, ‘VALLAURIS – 1956 / EXPOSITION’, 1956, Christopher-Clark Fine Art

Almost all of Picasso’s artistically most ambitious posters – in the linoleum-cut technique – were created for Vallauris, a town noted for its ceramics located in the Antibes hinterland near the Côte a’Azur. Picasso lived there from 1948 through 1954, and created numerous ceramic pieces which were produced by local potters in small limited editions. This activity materially contributed to the economic recovery of Vallauris after the war. In order to promote sales of its typical products – ceramics, flowers, perfumes – the artist devoted himself to publicity campaigns, designing a new poster for every summer season from 1948 to 1964. In addition to typical Vallauris products, the posters evince motifs, such as the faun’s, satyr’s and goat’s heads also found in Picasso ceramics. These motifs, derived from ancient mythology, stand for the idea of a simple and happy life in harmony with nature – the idea of a primal, earthly paradise.

Signature: Hand-signed in blue crayon below the image lower right Picasso, also signed in the block also lower right.

Publisher: Vallauris Potters Association

Maria Costantino, Picasso Posters, PRC Publishing Ltd., London, 1991, p. 46 (ill.); Marc Gundel, Picasso: The Art of the Poster, Prestel, Munich-London-New York, 2000, no. 13 (ill.).

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