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  • Writer's pictureGordon R. Johnston

Picasso Housing | Pablo Picasso, Corrida aux Personnages, June 29, 1950. Ceramic work.

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Picasso became increasingly interested in working with clay in his later years, as it was less demanding than painting, to which he devoted great physical energy. Making ceramics allowed him to work on a smaller scale, but this gentler pace did not mean he slowed his rate of production, however; Picasso produced over 3,500 ceramic works, combining elements of his different practices, fusing painting, printmaking and sculpture

For this assignment we did some research on Ceramic Plate housings and how to properly display and protect the work without harming or placing stress onto the terracotta plate - while show-casing it.

As studies deepened with drawings and concept sketches, other important characteristic footnotes began to pronounce a bigger part into the direction of things; like, geography, origin, the history and back story which became more and more evident that Southern France would be a key element in the design and finish of the housing - as this is where Picasso worked and produced these objects.

Carefully calibrating the hand-milled dowels and their placement within the white oak ground.

Placing and securing the 5mm perplex shield over the housing/ground.

It was a suitable nudge to place the work on a white oak ground - slightly bleached - from the sun drentched summers of France.

The plate would be held in place by three hand-milled dowels crafted by our executioner Kenton Jeske with mindful attention to calculations and tolerances within the aligned composition. Each piece was made by hand to quietly connect an imperfect charm with a palm-spun plate by Picasso. They act as the grip, delicately holding the plate within the housing with the notched and carved out dado - paying close attention to torque and stress by offering malleable tolerances within these stand-offs.

These Stand-offs were bleached and finished to the same degree as the ground - to ensure the devices disappeared allowing the Object to garner the spot-light.

Kenton placing the components together for the final list.

From there we build a front loader with enough gapping to support a clear 5mm perplex shield, protecting the work from UVLight, dust and possible touching and handling.

It seems to me that it is often the artists who alter the storyline of their histories, by doing something fresh and taking us all to a different place from which to view everything else - that is transforming.

Housings, mountings and frames play an important role in this as well - to pull back and allow the work to radiate and not the other way around.


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