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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Masters of Modernity: Nature: Picasso / Chagall / Miró / Braque

179 works by Picasso (30), Matisse (33), Chagall (52), Kandinsky (10), and Miró (41), plus works by Braque (2), Klee, Léger (6), and Giacometti (6) (click the links for our home pages for each artist)

For selections from the show, see: The Figure / Artist and Model / Nature / Nature2 / People / People2 / People3
Music and Dance / Biblical etchings / Chagall's Lithographs for the Bible / Chagall and Paris / Kandinsky
Picasso was a wildly inventive artist who periodically returned from whatever voyage he was undertaking to rest, refresh himself with the familiar—classically-drawn people, bullfights, dances, animals, birds, insects, flowers, the artist and his model, love and lust—before venturing out for further explorations,. Picasso helped invent the artistic vocabulary of Cubism, Surrealism, and Post-Modernism. Braque's late works likewise return to nature, and especially to birds, flying, dying, nesting. Birds also figure importantly in Miró's works in painting, sculpture, and in his prints, several of which appear below. Chagall appears to have been less interested in birds than in flowers, which appear everywhere in his works. Giacometti, on the other hand, seems little interested in nature with the exception of cats, dogs, and trees, one of which we present below, in the shape of what may be his only color lithograph.

On this page and several linked pages, we present a sampling of the themes of our 2007-2008 Winter show: Masters of Modernity.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), The dove and its little ones (M. 72, B. 433) Original lithograph, 1947. 50 signed and numbered impressions. This lithograph is one of Picasso's early experiments in using pen and brush on zinc to achieve the effect of a brush wash drawing. Illustrated in Picasso Lithographs (Dover). This work is just back from conservation and it is completely renovated, deacidified and cleaned. Image size: 400x530mm. Price: $12,000.
Georges Braque, Le pigeon noir / The black pigeon (Maeght 1005, Vallier, p. 292). Color etching and aquatint, 1956. Edition: 300 signed and numbered impressions. Ours is a signed proof, annotated H.C. This is part of the series published by Galerie Maeght in the early 1950s with the active cooperation and supervision of the artists. Margins folded back for framing by an earlier owner. Image size: 415x510mm. Price: $6250.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), L'ete / Summer (Dupin 1310, Benhoura 396). Original color pochoir, 1938. Edition size unknown; published in the deluxe art review, Verve, in 1938. The technique of this work has just been reevaluated. It was included as a lithograph in the catalogue of Miro's complete prints made for the print retrospective held at the Musee D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1974 and published by the museum. Miro participated actively in the show and created an original etching for the deluxe version of the catalogue itself. This work was reproduced on the cover of Guy Weedon's 1988 monograph on Miro where it was also identified as a lithograph. It is also featured as a full-page illustration in Amy Dempsey's Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools & Movements 1860 to the Present (Abrams, 2002) in the chapter on Surrealism. It was not included in volume 1 of the catalogue raisonne of Miró's lithographs. It has now been included in the final volume of Jacques Dupin's Miró Graveur as a pochoir executed not by Mourlot but by Daniel Jacomet. Careful examination reveals that this is indeed hand-painted. Signed in the plate. Another impression of this work sold at auction in September 2004 for $5290. Image size: 350x260mm. Price: $4750.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Femmes et oiseaux devant la lune / Women and birds by moonlight (Dupin 50). Original color pochoir (stencil), 1947. 1500 impressions loosely inserted in copies of The Prints of Joan Miro, published by Curt Valentin. Image size: 280x220mm. Price: $2775.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Femmes et oiseaux devant la nuit / Women and birds in the night (Dupin 49). Original color pochoir (stencil), 1947. 1500 impressions loosely inserted in copies of The Prints of Joan Miro, published by Curt Valentin. Image size: 280x220mm. Price: $2775.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Bird, Star, Sun and Sky (M. 69). Original color lithograph, 1948. c.1000 unsigned impressions published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir (1948). One of Miro's first color lithographs. Image size: 258x265mm. Price: $1325.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Sur Quatre Murs / On Four Walls (Maeght 1708). Lithograph after a painting, 1951. Edition: 400 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1200 unsigned impressions published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir, in 1951. This lithograph was done with Miro's approval, under his supervision, and with his participation, after his mural for Harkness Commons at the Harvard Universary Graduate School, now in the Museum of Modern Art in NY. Ours is one of the unsigned impressions with two folds made to fit it into the 1952 issue of Derrière le Miroir of the same title. Miró altered the lithograph slightly, making changes only the artist would dare to make, to introduce more light in the composition now that it was going to be in a much smaller format. The original painting is illustrated as plate 191 in the 1993 Museum of Modern Arts celebration of the 100th anniversary of Miró's birth. A large and very beautiful image dating very early in his career as a lithographer (most of Miró’s early prints were either etchings or pochoirs; he also made a few woodcuts and one linocut). Image size: 258x795mm. Price: $1750.

Derrière le Miroir was a deluxe art review published by Galerie Maeght, Miró’s dealer from 1948 until, after the death of Aimé Maeght, it metamorphosed into Galerie Maeght Lelong and then Galerie Lelong. Derrière le Miroir was published in a format of 380x280mm (about 15x11 inches) with the sheets unbound and inserted into a cover. For each issue, Galerie Maeght would commission a number of lithographs by the artist or artists featured in their current exhibition. Often, they would also produced a signed and numbered edition for those who might be able to afford it. In the case of this print, one of the 400 signed and numbered impressions would probably sell for about $15,000 to $20,000.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Oiseau de feu / Firebird (D. 360, B. 62). Original color etching & aquatint with carborundum, 1963. 75 signed & numbered impressions. This work has been included in a number of important retrospectives of Miro's works, including exhibits in Spain, and Japanese Miró retrospectives in 1984 ( 6-city ) and 1991-2 (5 cities). One of Miro's first masterpieces using large scale and carborundum to achieve an almost painterly richness of texture. Its power and intensity suggests Miro's impact on Jackson Pollock, who saw Miró's work in 1944. Image size: 560x790mm. Price: $32,250.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Oiseau lune jaune / Yellow moonbird (D. 362, B. 64). Original color etching & aquatint with carborundum, 1963. 75 signed & numbered impressions. One of Miro's first masterpieces using large scale and carborundum to achieve an almost painterly richness of texture. Image size: 560x790mm. Price: $27, 250.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Jeune fille aux papillons / Young woman with butterflies (M. 740). Original color lithograph, 1971. 75 signed & numbered impressions plus c.1500 unsigned impressions published in the deluxe art review Derriere le Miroir of which ours is one. This lithograph is singled out for special comment in the preface to Miro Lithographe IV. One of Miró's most delightful lithographs. Image size: 380x280mm. Price: $1275.

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