Picasso Ceramics Go to Auction

LONDON -- Unique ceramics by Pablo Picasso belonging to the artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s this summer.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are eager to bid in these important ceramic artworks.

One of the most extensive and important groups of the artist’s work in this medium, the collection offers an incomparable insight into Picasso’s work in clay and the extraordinary breadth of his creativity and versatility. The huge appeal of these pieces stems from Picasso’s ingenuity in transforming everyday objects into works of art.

Spanning the full range of his production in this medium, from the early examples of 1947- 48 to examples from the late 1960s, the collection will be offered in a stand-alone sale preceding Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on 25 June 2015.

Together, the group – comprising 126 lots and encompassing hand-painted plates, vases and tiles, to hand-modelled figures and more sculptural pieces – is estimated to bring a combined total of £4.5 million.

Important Reassessment

Long-celebrated as examples of the artist’s playful and innovative approach, Picasso’s ceramics have undergone a crucial reassessment in recent years, following a number of important exhibitions including the Royal Academy’s celebrated Picasso, painter and sculptor in clay and the more recent show at the Musée National de Céramique in Paris.

Picasso was the ultimate master of all media and just as he had done with painting, printmaking and sculpture, he mastered the art of ceramics.

Picasso’s relentless creative and innovative impulses – the instincts that made him the most celebrated artist of the twentieth century – are perhaps nowhere better exhibited than in his work with ceramics.

New Medium

The medium was largely new to Picasso when he began working at the Madoura Pottery factory in 1947, but he immediately saw the potential of this traditional craft and set about learning and challenging the techniques of the ceramicist’s art, reinterpreting it with a remarkable resourcefulness and his characteristic spontaneity.

It was in the summer of 1946 – during a stay at the nearby coastal resort of Golfe Juan – that Picasso first met Suzanne Douly and Georges Ramié in their now famed Madoura studio in the town of Vallauris, which they had opened in 1938 and whose name combined the first syllables of ‘maison’ and their surnames.

Picasso’s friend, the artist and poet Jaime Sabartés, said that Picasso made this trip to Vallauris with the sole intention of distracting himself, but that during his chance meeting with the Ramiés, he was so excited by ceramic as a medium that he immediately sat down on a bench and spent the afternoon modeling small clay animals in his hands.

The experience ignited a spark of inspiration which was to prove deeply compelling to Picasso and he became attracted by the artistic possibilities and challenges that clay offered.

When Picasso returned to Vallauris the following year, in the autumn of 1947, he was armed with a sketchbook full of ideas and set to work in a fury of inspiration, working in the Madoura studio almost daily.

Picasso began creating an astonishing array of objects, and as his own technical understanding grew, he was able to play with the traditional shapes and decorative devices used in the pottery and manipulate existing designs.

From zoomorphic jugs and sensuous vases to plates and salvers emblazoned with scenes and faces, Picasso’s imagination was matched by the malleability of the ceramicist’s medium.

In many works, Picasso achieves a level of abstraction which moves the ceramic objects into the realm of the purely sculptural. Sculpture was important to Picasso’s output during this period and it is clear that he considered his work in ceramic to be integral to his work as a sculptor.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers some highlights from the Madoura auction of Picasso ceramics, held at Christie's in 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPbJjM9laxE&sns=em