Jean Cocteau - Line Drawings - the Unique Author's Working Portfolio

Muzeum of Liepaja

Liepaja, Latvia : 26.06.2019 to 29.09.2019

PRESS RELEASE

First time in Latvia, original works by Jean Cocteau, are now in Liepāja Museum and this exhibition is realized in partnership with Collection Kesauri. Exhibition is open from 26/06/2019 to 29/09/2019 and is featuring 132 original works, signed autograph manuscript dedicace to Picasso by Jean Cocteau and other objects related to Jean Cocteau from Collection Kesauri.

Curated by Kesauri Aleksandre, Kessaouri Vassili, produced and organized by SIA Art Expo in partnership with the Collection Kesauri (http://exhibitionsof.art).

Project that sets out to attract families, youths, clients, and employees to the world of art by offering reduced tickets to exhibitions, events, and art and culture related activities.

The exhibition "Jean Cocteau. Line Drawings - the Unique Author's Working Portfolio" is composed by exhibits from Collection Kesauri of original works made by Jean Cocteau : 126 linocuts of Cocteau’s early drawings from portfolio « Dessins » with the unique memorabilia item – his handwritten dedicate to Pablo Picasso and 6 original very rare lithographs from suite “La dame aux chats”. Portfolio « Dessins » is absolutely unique pencil autographed personal exemplar of Jean Cocteau and in fact his unique working tool for first edition of portfolio published at Paris on 1923. The exhibition "Jean Cocteau. Line Drawings - the Unique Author's Working Portfolio" highlights the major key aspects of work of the greatest artist of our time - Jean Cocteau.

Jean Cocteau was an enormously influential French artist and writer known as one of the major figures of Dada and Surrealism. With an oeuvre that spanned painting, novels, poetry, plays, and films, Cocteau established himself as a leading creative force in Paris. A regular member of the avant-garde, he maintained long-term friendships with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, and Man Ray. He denied being a Surrealist or being in any way attached to the movement. By his works he presented modernism in all its forms. He also encouraged others to strike out in new directions, becoming as much an artistic personage as an artist.

The aim of the exhibition is to help the public to see and understand how Cocteau materializes his views thanks to his special artistic language in the form of line-drawings that are clearly felt by spectator. The self-taught Cocteau would regularly draw his friends and acquaintances in a distinctive, fluid style informed by his interests in cubism, psychoanalysis, and catholicism.

He struck up a lifelong friendship with Picasso, whose line-drawing style he would make his own. Dessins contains 126 linocuts of Cocteau’s early drawings, dedicated to Picasso with the apology: "Poets do not draw. They untie the knots in handwriting and then retie them differently. That's why I allow myself to dedicate to you some jambs made on blotting papers, tablecloths and backs of envelopes. Without your advice I would never have dared to reunite them".

THE EXHIBITION

After a number of detailed introductions to the artist and to his period, the exhibition is divided into two thematic sections:

1. Portfolio "Dessins" - unique pencil autographed personal exemplar of Jean Cocteau
2. Suite “La dame aux chats”

Section one – Jean Cocteau’s Portfolio "Dessins"

Section one introduces visitors to one of Jean Cocteau’s greatest artistic passion – line-drawing and linocut. Portfolio "Dessins" contains 126 linocuts of Cocteau’s early drawings. This is absolutely unique pencil autographed personal exemplar of Jean Cocteau and in fact his unique working tool for first edition of portfolio published at Paris on 1923 in 625 exemplars.

Many drawings contain pencil hand writed by Cocteau himself remarks or titles. On the dedicational page Cocteau has corrected by pencil the fault in text - in the word "frits" the letter "r" is to be replaced by letter "a", giving the just word "faits".

Portfolio "Dessins" are dedicated to Picasso with the apology: “Poets do not draw. They untie the knots in handwriting and then retie them differently. That's why I allow myself to dedicate to you some jambs made on blotting papers, tablecloths and backs of envelopes. Without your advice I would never have dared to reunite them."

On the exhibition is shown also this unique hand written dedication by Jean Cocteau to Pablo Picasso.

Jean Cocteau, Picasso’s friend and ‘colleague’ for nearly sixty years. Cocteau’s desired to create and experiment was fueled by his relationship with Picasso, as well as his extremity in art and life. They loved the beauty, humor, diversity, rapid decision-making, and execution of this association. Cocteau involved Picasso in the development of his show Parade, for which Pablo designed costumes. They worked for two months for the Rome ballet in 1917, where Picasso fell in love with dancer Olga Koklova. He casually followed her to Florence, together visiting churches, museums, and palaces.

Section two – Jean Cocteau’s suite “La dame aux chats”.

Original lithographs by Jean Cocteau from suite “La dame aux chats”, signed on colophon-certificate by Jean Cocteau and Louis Émié. This is very rare and limited edition number XXIII/XXV, made on Paper "Pur Chiffon à la main" and edited by "Les Editions de Pujols" in France on 1962.

It is recommended by national televisions TV Kurzeme and LTV LV :