Legendary artist Pablo Picasso is best known as a pioneer of cubism, but he was also a prolific ceramicist. He started creating ceramics in 1946 after visiting an exhibition of local crafts in the Côte d’Azur area of France, where he met ceramicist and head of the family-run Madoura pottery Suzanne Ramié.
Following this inspiring encounter, the Spanish master spent the next 25 years producing more than 3,500 ceramic designs, including plates, vases, dishes, tiles and pitchers. Extensive research and experimentation led Picasso to adopt two main production methods, one based on the replication of an original object by hand and the other with hand-shaped dry moulds.
Tomorrow, Sotheby’s London will auction off an eclectic collection of ceramics and drawings that resided with him during his entire life. The online sale, titled “Picasso Ceramics: Colours of the Côte d’Azur,” offers a unique selection of works that reflect the artist’s lifelong experimentation with different ceramic techniques. Prior to the sale, these ceramics had been residing in the private collection of Picasso’s granddaughter Marina Picasso.
They carry prices ranging from £500 to £32,000 (about S$900 to S$57,500), offering a ceramic work by the Spanish master for first-time buyers and seasoned collectors alike. Highlights include the terre de faïence pitchers “Tête de Femme Couronnée de Fleurs” (estimated between S$36,000 and S$45,000), and “Visage au Nez Noir” (estimated between S$27,000 and S$36,000); as well as a set of ten terre de faïence plates known as “Service Visage Noir” (estimated between S$43,000 and S$57,500).
While his ceramics are now offered at Sotheby’s London, Picasso’s paper works are currently on view at London’s Royal Academy of Arts until April 13. Titled “Picasso and Paper”, the exhibition brings together over 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career, including rarely-seen masterpieces that are presented alongside closely related paintings and sculptures.