I usually find the relationship between artist and his art dealer or commissioner very intriguing; since it is rarely only about a business oriented relationship. Even I do not want to give my small graphics or drawings to anyone I don’t like or respect; let alone Picasso. There must be a sort of gateway between their minds and understanding of art, that eventually turns into an emotional bond.
Vollard is the very person who discovered Picasso and made him famous, so to say (as well as many other censured or unknown painters of their time, like Cézanne). When he was a young painter in poverty, he gave him the chance to exhibit his works in his gallery, so he became his lifetime commissioner since his “période bleue”
“Picasso and Vollard; The Genius and The Merchant” exhibition takes place in Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti until July 8 2012. It’s been divided into six different sections, according to periods of his journey of production; “Tumblers”, “The Frugal Meal “,”Profile of a Woman”, “Le Chef-d’oeuvre Inconnu”(Illustrations for Balzac’s masterpiece), “Histoire naturelle” and “Vollard Suite”(When Picasso starts to earn good amounts of money and to get well known, he wants to buy some of his works he has sold to Vollard in his poor times. Vollard accepts; but in return he asks for a hundred engravings specially made for him).
All sections reflect different approaches and methods of Picasso; such as engravings, paintings, drawings and illustrations and each of them is worth to see. (Including some of his most famous works like his beloved “Minotaur” and “Salomé”)
Not only Picasso’s works; the collection also has the spirit of those famous times of Paris, considered to become a kind of “golden age” for modern art and which would later make way for contemporary art. If you are interested, the exhibition is a must-see.
By Eda Güngör