Picasso and Paper

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Text by Violette Andres, Stephen Coppel, Ann Dumas, Emmanuelle Hincelin, Christopher Lloyd, Emilia Philippot, Johan Popelard, Claustre Rafart Planas, William H. Robinson.

How Picasso’s genius seized the potential of paper throughout his career

Picasso’s artistic output is astonishing in its ambition and variety. Picasso and Paper examines a particular aspect of his legendary capacity for invention: his imaginative and original use of paper. He used it as a support for autonomous works, including etchings, prints and drawings, as well as for his papier-collé experiments of the 1910s and his revolutionary three-dimensional “constructions,” made of cardboard, paper and string.

Sometimes his use of paper was simply determined by circumstance: in occupied Paris, where art supplies were in short supply, he ripped up paper tablecloths to make works of art. And of course, his works on paper comprise the preparatory stages of some of his very greatest paintings.

With reproductions of nearly 400 works of art and a series of insightful new texts by
leading authorities on the artist, this sumptuous study reveals the myriad ways in which Picasso explored the potential of paper at different stages of his career. Picasso and Paper is published for an exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

The legendary life and career of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) spanned nearly the entire 20th century and ushered in some of its most significant artistic revolutions.