printmaking

Picasso the printmaker

Picasso the printmaker

Picasso’s “Portrait of a Young Lady (After Cranach the Younger)”

Even Picasso’s admirers have to admit that their beloved painter would be nothing without the masters. I don’t mean only as sources of inspiration but as actual source material. Owing his legacy to his famous interpretations of even more famous original paintings like Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass” and Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” Picasso is one of the great cover artists of the 20th century. But what he lacked in original composition he more than made up for with a long and prolific career that included nearly every medium available to him. The medium that the new MoMA exhibit is concerned with, however, is printmaking. “Picasso: Themes and Variations” (a real snoozer of a title, unfortunately) showcases 100 of his etchings, lithographs and linocuts, many of which are based on the work of other artists like Rembrandt and Lucas Cranach the Younger (and the Elder too).

Rauschenberg as printmaker

Rauschenberg as printmaker

“No other artist has ever pushed the boundaries of what printmaking could be as much (Robert) Rauschenberg.” Of course, Rauschenberg couldn’t have done it without Gemini G.E.L., the Los Angeles printmaking studio where he produced the bulk of his prints. “He defined what a print multiple was in terms of scale, media, dimension, variation and viewer interaction,” and, according to co-founder Stanley Grinstein, “he taught us what Gemini could be.”