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Carnegie draws in Picasso exhibit

'Picasso: 25 Years of Edition Ceramics from the Rosenbaum Collection'


POSTED September 17, 2013 8:44 p.m.

Pablo Picasso is most famous for his abstract and cubist paintings, but over the course of his life he dipped his hands in clay and produced an estimated 4,000 pieces of ceramic pottery. Now, a sampling of those works can be seen with the opening of the Carnegie Art Center’s Picasso exhibit.

The exhibit, “Picasso: 25 Years of Edition Ceramics from the Rosenbaum Collection,” opened Sunday at the Carnegie and will remain at the gallery through Jan. 15, 2014.

The exhibition includes 45 ceramic works — plates, bowls, pitchers, vases and plaques — created by Picasso in collaboration with George and Suzanne Ramie and the artisans at their Madoura pottery workshop in Vallauris, Southern France, between the years 1947 and 1971. Posters from previous Picasso ceramics exhibitions and photographs of Picasso at work at the Madoura workshop are also part of the exhibit.

The exhibition was curated by Gerald Nordland, noted author and independent curator. The Carnegie was also able to find a few additional pieces for the exhibit that will not be part of the national tour, said Carnegie Director and Curator Rebecca Phillips Abbott.

The viewing at the Carnegie is the only place the exhibit will be shown in all of California.

“Arts centers like the Carnegie can focus on narrow subjects in the art, even when it involves great artists and that is something a large museum can’t do,” Abbott said.

Picasso, who brought cubism and collage into the art scene, started dabbling in ceramics in 1946 after seeing the works of Madoura potters at a craft fair. Picasso made three pots that day. Then one year later he began working in ceramics in earnest and continued to do so until two years before his death in 1973.

Over the course of 20 years, Picasso produced more than 4,000 ceramics, including sculptural works as well as decorated traditional objects such as plates, bowls, and vases. His subjects are varied. They include still lifes, landscapes, bullfights, and a lively cast of characters of all kinds, including fanciful faces, fish, birds, goats, and horses.

“What is fascinating about these works is that they depict subjects that delight us all,” Abbott said. “At the same time, each object can be seen as a complex blend of painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking— all in clay.”

The Carnegie’s exhibit is being supported by Prime Shine Car Wash and Hilmar Cheese Company.

The Carnegie will be hosting several Sunday Arts lecture series and Family Friday events to tie in with the Picasso exhibit. Additionally, the Carnegie will be offering local artists the chance to have their works displayed alongside Picasso.

The juried exhibition, “Imagining the Real,” will be selecting works to display that have been inspired by Picasso’s famous quote: “All that you can imagine is real.”

The Carnegie is seeking entries that have a clear start in the imagination of the artist.  These works may use color or form in unexpected combinations.  They can be dreamlike, or entirely realistic.  They can convey a message or a mood.  They can also be experiential and call on the viewer to interpret visual symbols present in the works.  The works should reflect Picasso's sentiment according to each artist's individual perspective. 

The “Imagine the Real” exhibit will run from Oct. 16 to Feb. 23, 2014. The last day to submit an entry is Sunday.

The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and first place in each category will get $250. Visit www.carnegieartsturlock.org for rules and submission forms.

Admission to the Carnegie’s Picasso exhibit is $12 for general admission and $9 for members. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

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