Art | Need To Now

Two treats for Picasso enthusiasts

Limited-edition prints of his work are up for sale – as is a vibrant original

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Two treats for Picasso enthusiasts

February 14 2012
Vicki Reeve

If Tate Britain’s imminent exhibition Picasso and Modern British Art (February 15 to July 15) has given you a yearning for the Spanish artist’s work, but you can’t quite stretch to one of his canvases, check out VandM, the dependable online source of vintage furniture, antiques, art, photography and jewellery. Partnering archive-reproduction company 1000Museums, it has just launched a limited-time sale of 25 prints hand-picked from pictures included in the touring exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris (currently at the Art Gallery NSW in Sydney, until March 25).

The limited-edition framed prints – 50 of each – are on museum-quality acid-free paper, and cannot be found anywhere else in the two sizes offered (18 x 24 inches, $350; 24 x 30 inches, $450). Works include: the wide-eyed, all-seeing Self-Portrait (painted in 1906 when, although only 25, Picasso was already collected by Leo and Gertrude Stein); the abstract curves and wedges of The Tree (1907); The Acrobat (1930), with its contorted, rubber-limbed subject; the sharp, spike-nailed and nail-bodiced Portrait of Dora Maar (1937; first picture) and, my favourite, the captivating and captivated The Reader (1953; second picture), which shows Françoise (mother to Picasso’s children Claude and Paloma) absorbed by her book. The sale continues until March 9.

But if it’s an original oil-on-canvas Picasso you’re after, Le Transformateur (1953) is going under the hammer on February 15-16 (conservative estimate: $400,000-$450,000) through online auction house Saffronart. Depicting a red-roofed villa near the artist’s home at Vallauris in southern France, it’s an assured and vibrant work that, if it comes to grace your walls, is bound to receive admiring looks from (jealous) friends. Pre-register to bid.