The Hakone Open-Air Museum possesses a collection of over 300 works by Pablo Picasso. Centered around a group of 188 ceramic works purchased from Picasso’s daughter, Maya Picasso, it contains works employing a wide range of techniques, including painting, sculpture, tapestry, gemmail, and gold or silver objects.
Picasso always firmly believed that ‘Everything manifests itself in form.’* The attraction of the form itself and the surprise or excitement derived from changes in the form, became what powered his creative activities.
In the works that comprise the museum’s Picasso Collection, we are able to feel Picasso’s endeavor to employ a variety of techniques to transform the image and discover unknown forms.
* “Picasso－An Explorer of Life and Creativity”, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1973 / All quotes by Picasso are taken from this book.
In his painting, Picasso repeatedly created and discarded the styles he used as he strove to transform his images and produce abundant results. His subject was the real world that surrounded him. In addition, he recreated his oil paintings in gemmail or tapestry, and by changing his media in this way, was able to bring a new appeal to his work.
Picasso was about 65 years old when he started to experiment with ceramics that combine clay, glazes and fire to create transformations, becoming engrossed in this form of expression that contains elements of both painting and sculpture. Using a wide range of subjects, one form leads to another giving birth to an associative image.
Picasso wanted to find a material that was stronger than ceramics to express his images and so he started to work in metals. When it came to prints, he made repeated corrections to the actual original plate while he worked on it, making test impressions each time as he pursued the image. As a result, this means that the final stage was not necessarily the finished work; the process of the diverse transformation of the image was itself an important element.