A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink.
The press, which was used mainly to print engravings on copper, belonged to the brothers Piero and Aldo Crommelynck. Pablo Picasso had worked with them previously, in Paris, and from 1963 onwards he began to collaborate with them once again when they set up an engraving studio in Mougins (France), where the artist lived at the time. Picasso’s overwhelming creative energy, combined with the availability and efficiency of the Crommelynck brothers, resulted in a huge output of work, with proofs, variations and repetitions, the results of which Picasso was able to see in record time.
One product of this collaboration was the legendary 347 series, which comprises 347 etchings produced with the help of the two printmakers, at Picasso’s home Notre-Dame-de-Vie, in Mougin, between 16th March and 5th October, 1968. An edition of 50 numbered examples was run off, along with 17 artists’ proofs that were hand-signed by Pablo Picasso. This professional relationship was combined with a strong friendship which can be seen from the portraits that the artist painted of Piero and his family. The press on view at Museo Picasso Malaga has been loaned on deposit for the next four years, thanks to the generosity of Piero’s widow, Landa Crommelynck. Over one thousand works by Picasso have been printed on it.
An information area has been installed at the museum at the same place as the press. It serves to illustrate the artistic process involved in graphic works, the techniques and types, the history and evolution of engraving and its role in democratizing artworks.
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Dialogues with Picasso