PABLO PICASSO & ANDRÉ VILLERS

L’homme a L’oiseau, 1962

Framed collotype print

£830.00

Black and white photogram collotype print
Image size: 39.5 x 29.5 cm
Paper size: 39.5 x 29.5 cm
Machine-numbered on verso
Individual print from portfolio

Only 1 left in stock

French artist and photographer André Villers (b. 1930) was a portraitist of the great artists of the 20th century—Miró, Léger, Dalí, and Chagall—but is best known for his photos of Pablo Picasso. Villers met Picasso in 1953 when visiting to photograph him. Over the years the two developed a close working relationship, Picasso gifting Villers his first Rolleiflex camera as the pair played with negatives and the effects of photographic exposure. They made hundreds of photographic experiments together, and in 1962 thirty of these images were published in their co-produced book, Diurnes (Daytime). Heinz Berggruen edited the book and the images were accompanied by an original text by Jacques Prévert.

Since the early 1940s Picasso had flirted with the medium in private, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that his photography became public when he joined forces with Villers. Diurnes displays Picasso’s only significant foray into photography, yet the images remain as clever and original as when they first appeared over half a century ago. The series demonstrates Picasso’s unfailing innovation and ability to play with graphic techniques, as well as his unfaltering sense of wit and imagination. It is said that Diurnes was inspired by Provence’s natural beauty and by Matisse’s final works; his cut-outs and colour collages. Paying homage to his late friend Matisse, Picasso entertained his grandchildren one afternoon with paper masks and animal faces. Years later, these mischievous cutouts of fauns, goats, forms and faces provided the basis for the series. Villers and Picasso experimented with camera-less photography (the photogram) to create a series of mythological portraits. The artists overlaid each paper mask onto a light sensitive material and exposed it to light, revealing images of the surrounding countryside beneath.

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