Picasso pottery focus of exhibit

Artist's ceramic creations in show scheduled to run Saturday through April 21

March 09, 2000|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There wasn't much in the artistic realm that Pablo Picasso couldn't do.

His "Rose" and "Blue" periods heralded the birth of a new century of painting, and his rebellion against Impressionism would define the essence of modernism. But his talent and vision made him a man of all genres.

Picasso was an extraordinary sculptor, one of the first to assemble his forms from a diverse set of materials, rather than model or carve his images in the traditional manner.

Picasso also was a virtuoso in the graphic arts, as his etchings and lithographs attest.

What isn't as well known is that Picasso also worked in ceramics. His achievements in that medium are the focus of "Picasso: 25 Years of Edition Ceramics from the Edward and Ann Weston Collection," an exhibit that will be at the Mitchell Gallery on the campus of St. John's College in Annapolis from Saturday through April 21.

While vacationing in southern Europe during the mid-1940s, Picasso became friends with Georges and Suzanne Ramie, a couple who owned a pottery factory. During the next quarter-century, they set aside space in their studio for the artist to work as a potter.

In exchange, the artist allowed the Ramies to make and sell editions of the ceramic pieces he crafted. More than 600 Picasso vases, pitchers, plates and bowls bearing his imprimatur were sold.

Some of the finest will be on display in Annapolis. The opening reception for "Picasso: 25 Years of Edition Ceramics" will be held from 3: 30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Art educator Lucinda Edinburg will lead a tour of the exhibition followed by a workshop with clay. The program is appropriate for families with children age 6 and older.

Potters Ebby and Rick Malmgren will present a gallery talk titled "Two Potters View Picasso Ceramics: What Did He Make and How Did He Do It?" at 4 p.m. March 21.

Edinburg will offer a tour of the exhibit from 12: 15 p.m. to 12: 45 p.m. March 29. A poetry reading related to the exhibit will take place at 3 p.m. April 16.

Mitchell Gallery exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. Registration for tours and talks is suggested. To register or for more information, call 410-626-2556.

The gallery, 60 College Ave. on the St. John's campus in Annapolis, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

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