Scottish National Gallery acquires Picasso collage

Even those with a basic and causal understanding of the arts are aware Pablo Picasso’s enormous influence on modern art and, indeed, the fabric of our wider culture.
The world abounds with artists drawn in by Picasso’s influence and his ability transfer and intoxicating and compelling wit onto a canvass, dissecting it to a point that makes it puzzling to decipher.
Now, it is the turn of punters at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to be drawn in by his work, with institution announcing that it has acquired a rare still life cubist collage by the Spaniard.
The unique work features newspaper cuttings of adverts for Quaker oats and Cherry Rocher cherry brandy and is one of 30 to have ever been made by Picasso’s hands.
It depicts a stylised glass and bottle standing on a table and is brought to life with the addition of charcoal, ink and pencil and stencilled lettering.
It is the bottle itself that is comprised of newspaper, extracted from the French publication Le Journal, dated 12 December 1912.
Much of Picasso’s experiments with collage utilised newspaper cuttings and were largely influenced by works of cubist pioneer and friend George Braque in 1912.

A stunning work

Until now, the collage has been part of a private collection in Sweden for over 40 years, but the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was able to snap it up at a recent auction, mainly due to a legacy from Henry Walton, former professor of psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, and child psychiatry expert Sula Wolff.
As well as leaving their art collection to the gallery, which contained a number of Picasso prints, the duo also set up a fund aimed acquiring important and related works.
The rarity of this piece adds to its sense of special excitement, Simon Groom, director of the Gallery of Modern Art, clearly unable to hide his feelings over what it means to have secured such a highly-prized work, telling the Guardian that it is “the kind of work that any of the world’s great museums would love to have”.
He added: “In this small group of newspaper collages Picasso turned centuries of tradition upside down, and the reverberations are still being felt in the art of today. Together with the drawing we acquired last year, a collage from 1913, and a painting of the same period, we now have a superb collection of Picasso’s cubist work.”