The fourth volume of Mourlot's documentation of Picasso's graphic work at his workshop (from 1949-1956) continues to document his maturation as a printmaker. His poster production for exhibitions and conferences, including his own art exhibitions in Vallauris, are a particularly important lens through which to look at his innovations in lithography, especially his creative use of color in his exhibition images.
By 1953, his relationship with Francoise Gilot had ended and with his new female relationship (Jacqueline Roque) all contact with her and his children Paloma and Claude were effectively cut off. Once again, however, with new inspiration provided by a new female partner in his life, the treatment of the portrait was another tour de force of fine art printmaking. His images of Jacqueline in profile and reading, for instance, are a magnificent journey into Picasso's mind as he creates and changes with each new lithographic state.
To have high quality images of the unpublished states using the same process of lithography by the same print workshop (as provided by Fernand Mourlot in this volume) gives us important insight into Picasso's thinking and creative process in a step by step fashion. Unlike oil on canvas where it is practically impossible to obtain photographs of the state before changes were made, printmaking provides this data in a tangible way, that is, the pulled lithographic proof that the artist uses as feedback and inspiration for new ideas and changes and that academics, collectors, curators and we as viewers can also use as a vital record of what was going through the mind of the artist during the very act of creation.
This process is readily apparent in the series in this volume. Thanks goes not only to Picasso and Francoise but also to Fernand Mourlot for carefully archiving and documenting this unprecedented and history making revival in modern printmaking and art.