“Picasso and Paper” marks the most comprehensive exhibition devoted to the Spanish master’s passion for paper ever to be held.

The presentation, organized in partnership with the Musée National Picasso-Paris, will bring together over 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career. Picasso spent a lifetime exploring the limitless possibilities of paper, spending decades investigating printmaking techniques and sourcing rare and antique paper from as far as Japan.

This prolonged engagement with the medium started with cut-out paper figures of a dog and a dove that Picasso made when he was nine years old.

The show will detail the many stages of the Spanish artist’s ever-changing approach to paper, displaying rarely-seen paper works alongside closely related paintings and sculptures.

Picasso, ‘Femmes à leur toilette’ (Winter 1937–38). (Image Courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts)

Among them, a masterpiece from his famous Blue Period, “La Vie,” will be exhibited for the first time in Britain. This enigmatic composition is presented alongside preparatory drawings and other works on paper that explore corresponding themes of poverty, despair and social alienation.

Visitors to the Royal Academy of Arts will also have the opportunity to discover studies for the Modernist manifesto “Demoiselles d’Avignon,” as well as a life-sized reproduction of the collage “Femmes à leur toilette,” which will be on view in the UK for the first time in over 50 years.

This monumental five-meter collage, pasted together using a stockpile of wallpapers, depicts three women at their toilette, including Picasso’s Russian wife Olga Khokhlova who is seen combing the hair of his lover and fellow artist Dora Maar.

Picasso, ‘”Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” after Manet I’ (January 26 – March 13, 1962). (Image Courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts)

Picasso created this colourful composition as a cartoon for a tapestry commissioned by French entrepreneur Marie Cuttoli after completing “Guernica,” although the Spanish artist only allowed the big canvas with its pasted papers to leave his studio when aged 86.

Museumgoers will also be able to observe Picasso’s creative process first-hand in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1955 documentary, “Le Mystère Picasso,” where he is seen drawing with felt-tip pens on blank newsprint.

“Picasso and Paper” will be on view from January 25 through April 13 at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, before travelling to the Cleveland Museum of Art from May 24 to August 23.

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.