The First Smiley by Picasso

An empty space of ex clothing factory “Beko”, a just a victim of an unsuccessful privatization after unsuccessful 2000 revolution in Serbia, stands on the windward side the central Belgrade Dorcol area for ages, in its apocalyptic deficiency of a purpose occasionally rented for parties, from February till April 2012 hosting a Picasso ceramic, silver and gold exhibition.

An ambitious guest–setting-project compiled by the Deva Puri gallery of private collectors has started in Bled, comes to Belgrade and moves to Dubrovnik at the last stop. This means the setting crossover Slovenia (Bled), Serbia (Belgrade) and Croatia (Dubrovnik) in a triangle. Joint impregnate past of aggregated post-war frustrations multiplicated by detachments of different origins mainly conducted from Belgrade, while cultural initiatives re-establish a platform which had already existed up to 1990’s in the multicultural entity of Yugoslavia, now is on the regional lane of ex country accomplished by the Europian artist. Being an Europian in Serbia is not the same as being an Europian in Slovenia, already EU member or Croatia joining EU in 2013. Serbia didn’t get the candidate status in December 2011. Country strangles in the transition chaos on the way of a second dictatorship in the last 20 years. One of the exhibit sponsors is the Ministry of Culture yet remains unclear why the Minister (this person held the position with no university degree out of the constitutions law and lately involved in a censorship affair) opened the exhibition?

The high politics influence in a culture sphere is obvious while openings remind of communist regime not transcendent so might had happened that the premiere of the most expensive Tito movie “Battle of Neretva” Picasso made a poster for, with a nowadays film openings have in common.

Some of the Picasso’s posters, clay pottery, silver plates and gold medals with around 100 pieces overall at the expo.

In July 1946 staying at home of his friend  Louis Fort, Picasso decided to visit the annual potters exhibition in Vallauris while expressed interest in the Madoura stall of the owners Suzanne and Georges Ramie. He was invited to the Madoura Pottery workshop and started with modeling three pieces. This is how cooperation of 2880 artworks he made lasted for 27 years. There he met artist Jacqueline Roque, 46 his junior, his last wife. The selection of clay as a medium and the use of mythological and classical themes are of Iberian and Mediterranean origin. Most of the jugs he painted have a human shape, while plates demonstrate corrida scenes, birds, fish.
“Although ceramics are often deemed a craft, for Picasso plates, jugs, vases, and other vessels that he created were a form of canvas, he experimented with the play between decoration and form. “  1

The ceramics as a form of both sculpture and painting, the idea of multiple works that Picasso insisted the pottery should produce and sell bargain whereas everyone could own a “Picasso”. He was a good manager. “When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the Pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

Pieces are certified by an edition monogram or a graphic sign that appears on the reverse side or some of them by the piece number within a production series.

Picasso began designing silver plates in the mid 1950s after meeting with the famous French goldsmith Francois Hugo. This is how the first smiley in the world was made by Picasso.

Belgrade exhibition has started its own pottery workshop run by Miona Stefanovic and Tamara Papestijevic named “Pablo’s World”  which can be attended, regardless of whether the participants have experience with the technique. Exhibition curator Jelena  Kanacki is there on Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting at 2, 3, 5 and 6 p.m, planning to introduce a video guide as well.


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