Royal Academy of Arts

Picasso and Paper

Curator: Ann Dumas, Emilia Philippot and William H. Robinson in partnership with The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Musée National Picasso Paris.

Picasso didn’t just draw on paper – he tore it, burnt it, and made it three-dimensional. From studies for ‘Guernica’ to a 4.8-metre-wide collage, this exhibition brings together more than 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career.

For Picasso, paper was both a tool to explore his ideas and a material with limitless possibilities. He experimented with everything from newsprint and napkins to decorative wallpaper. He spent decades investigating printmaking techniques, sourcing rare and antique paper from as far as Japan – and all without losing his compulsion to draw on every last scrap.

From effortlessly expressive drawings that led to towering sculptures to the colossal collage, Femmes à leur toilette, Picasso’s work with paper spans his entire lifetime and showcases his constant drive to invent and innovate.

You will see Picasso’s creative process first-hand in remarkable documentary footage of the artist at work, studies for Guernica, and sketchbooks where the seeds of revolutionary masterpieces first took shape, including Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Letters, illustrated poems and photographic collaborations with Dora Maar will also offer glimpses into the artist’s life.

Immerse yourself in Picasso’s world of paper and discover how – with this everyday material we know so well – he found the means to explore the furthest reaches of his creativity.

Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

Royal Academy of Arts

From 25 January 2020 to 2 August 2020
Image for Picasso and Paper
Artwork(s) loaned
  • Bust of a woman

    Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881—1973)

    Bust of a woman 23 May 1903
    Pen and ink on paper
    Musée d'Orsay 2018-2019 « Picasso Bleu et Rose »