Verve 29 - 30

Artist’s Name
«Dedicated to an artist»
Pablo Picasso
1954, Paris
This double issue contains:
  • Series of 180 sketches by Pablo Picasso, made in Vallauris from 28 November 1953 to 3 February 1954, whom reproduction is in natural size.
  • 164 sketches in heliotype by brothers Draeger.
  • 16 Colored lithographs by brothers Mourlot.
  • Texts by Michel Leiris, Rebecca West, Stratis Eleftheriadis – Tériade

Verve issue no.29/30 hosts exclusively the works of the great Spanish master Pablo Picasso, which the artist completed between November 1953 and February 1954 in Vallauris. In a rare gesture of great significance, publisher and distinguished art critic Teriade wrote the preface himself. Teriade avoided writing any reviews on the artists he featured in his journals, he would normally only echo their own words. Nevertheless, he made an exception for Picasso when he wrote that “this winter, Picasso, with an astonishing inspiration that did not abandon him for a moment, created a series of drawings, the most beautiful, the most spontaneous, the most humane of his remarkable career; the drawings are permeated by a true light and they are full of lingering presences, as if during the nights at Vallauris his room was invaded by all of his creations and models in an unconditional surrender; and everyone showed up just to satisfy his desires, to toy with his caprices, feed his black humor, in the end forcing Picasso to surrender to us”.

In this astonishing series of drawings, Picasso, at the threshold of old age, makes a strict inventory of art and life, at the same time exposing their tortuous relationship. With a stroke of genius and using few and simple lines, he composes images that present the multiple aspects and relationships dominating the life of the artist, as well as the various influences the artist was exposed during his artistic career. Those are images that describe the thoughts, the emotions and the relation of the artist with his models, his art critics, his audience, with his personal space and world; they supersede each other, expressing Picasso’s passion and love for life. The drawings, several of which resemble caricatures, depict various characteristic and allegoric symbols, such as masks or horses, some of Picasso’s dearest themes, such as circus people, actors and feminine figures, themes from the mythology, as well as elements of African art, the Renaissance and Ancient Greece, all of whom had a decisive influence on his art. These works indeed extend to the absolute borders of Picasso’s creativity.