The Vollard Suite of one hundred etchings was a significant artistic undertaking. Commissioned by the art dealer Ambrose Vollard, Picasso worked on the series over a period of seven years, from the initial commission in 1930 until 1937, though it then took the printer a further two years to complete the full printing.
The suite reveals Picasso’s most significant personal preoccupations over this period of his life, as wider turmoil was unfolding across Europe. During this time Picasso embarked on an affair with the teenaged Marie-Thérèse Walter, and she became his mistress and his muse. Within the most coherent sequence of the suite, known as Sculptor’s Studio, Marie-Thérèse features in all 46 works. In this etching, she appears twice, as both artist’s model but also in sculptural form. Picasso casts himself in the leading man’s role of sculptor, inspired by his commitment at this time to classicism, which placed sculptor above painter in the hierarchy of arts. Marie-Thérèse views herself, while both versions of her, both real and created, are viewed by us in the position of the artist/sculptor, and through the hand of Picasso. In this way, the composition plays with ideas of perception, creation and reality, transformation and metamorphosis, the relationship between artist and muse and ultimately, between life and art.
A pioneer of abstract painting in England and a major figure in the international abstract movement, Victor Pasmore created some of the most revolutionary paintings in Britain of his time. Pasmore didn’t move towards his signature abstract style until 1947, in a move the art historian Herbert Read described as ‘the most revolutionary event in post-war British art.’
‘World in Space and Time II' shows the softening of Pasmore’s hard-edged geometric forms to curving shapes, wandering lines and areas of bold colour that evolved after his re-location to Malta and the begining of his extensive experimenting with printmaking.
Within our August 2021 auction, we were delighted to offer a selection of work by renowned artist and printmaker, Paul Rego, across different print mediums including lithography and the classic, evocative combination of etching and aquatint. The artist was drawn to printmaking from early in her career, finding solace and satisfaction in the immediacy of the medium – the direct correlation between printmaking and drawing. She says, ‘all printmaking is to do with drawing if you do it directly and it’s what I like to do. I love to draw. When I was at the Slade, I took refuge in the print room because in the print room you can draw images quickly so I’ve always found relief and release in being able to do images more quickly.’
Storytelling is an important aspect of Rego’s practice, and she often works from existing narratives. In the works offered here, she engages with well-known nursery rhymes to generate precise and evocative imagery. A bold and confident figurative artist, Rego is never afraid to shy away from the darker areas of a subject, often adding subversive elements. For Tate, she describes the roundabout nature of her storytelling and process of creating, ‘pictures tell stories but not sometimes in a very straight forward way, and you might start with one story and finish up with a different one, and sometimes the one you finish up with is the opposite of the one you began with,’ ultimately ‘you have to trust the picture because it’s the picture that you’re doing that is telling you what’s inside you, and what you really feel sometimes ain’t very nice. And then you discover at the end who you are.’
Lyon & Turnbull are delighted to offer Modern and Contemporary editioned prints and multiples within our Contemporary & Post-War Art and MODERN MADE auctions.
An exciting and developing area of the market, Prints & Multiples are popular with new and seasoned collectors alike.
At Lyon & Turnbull, we handle prints from a wide variety of artists: from 20th century masters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro through to the British canon of printmakers including Dame Laura Knight, L.S. Lowry, Edward Bawden, all the way to David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Our auctions encompass printmaking created up to and including the present day, with artists currently working in these mediums, such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Banksy and the Connor Brothers.
Forthcoming auctions include Contemporary & Post-War Art in Edinburgh in January, April & August and MODERN MADE in London in March & October. If you would like to discuss consigning or works for sale, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists.