June 18 – September 11, 2005
Following the innovative years before World War I when Pablo Picasso and George Braque introduced the Cubist pictorial language into graphic media, Cubist prints became less experimental and more elaborate in design and execution. Frequently, these later prints emphasize sophisticated techniques and subtleties of printing. Less studied than the pre-war graphic works, this second florescence of the Cubist print begins around 1915 and continues through the 1930s. It includes many striking compositions realized in woodcut, a medium normally associated with French Fauvism and German Expressionism.
This exhibition featured two cycles of prints in the Smart Museum collection. The earlier, from 1925, was a unique, deluxe edition of five woodcuts accompanied by the original pen-and-ink studies made by André Lhote. This series is devoted to marine themes, including mythic mermaids, sailors at work and rest, and the racy world of bars, prostitutes and other port-of-call pleasures. The other featured print cycle, appearing five years later, was a suite of ten mixed intaglio prints by the Polish-born Louis Marcoussis, whose masterful etchings made during this period create a mysterious visual poetry from a subtle fusion of Cubist and Surrealist motifs.
Curator: Richard A. Born, Smart Museum Senior Curator.
Presented in the Joel and Carole Bernstein Gallery.