An illuminating article about the importance of the world's most complete collection of Picasso linocuts, which was donated in 2012 by Ellen Remai to the Modern Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, which is due to open next year. The prints were sourced from Frederick Mulder, a native of Saskatoon, and the excerpt below describes how Fred came to build the collection:
'Frederick Mulder grew up in Eston, Saskatchewan, but has made his career in London as a dealer of European art prints dating as far back as 1470. He bought his first Picasso print as a student at Oxford. It cost 18 pounds.
It was much later in his career that Mulder met Arnera, the man who taught Picasso the linocut technique. Arnera would recount fond memories of Picasso in the studio, and the ease with which he took up the form.
"He never saw Picasso do preparatory drawings. He could visualize it all, and he just handled the block like he'd been born with the tool in his hand," Mulder says.
Arnera had a large collection of prints from when he was working with Picasso. Over time he and Mulder developed a professional relationship. Mulder was able to purchase many prints directly from the print master. As an added bonus Arnera sold him many proofs, prints showing the progression of a piece as each additional layer of colour is laid on.
At some point Mulder realized he might be able to put together a complete set, something no one has accomplished. He found some of the pieces missing from Arnera's collection at auctions in New York, London, Switzerland and Paris. He got a few more from Picasso's estate.
In early 2012, Mulder donated some prints to the University of Saskatchewan, where he got his bachelor of arts in the 1960s. It was at the accompanying ceremony where he met Ellen Remai, setting in motion the discussions that would bring his collection to the gallery that bears her name.'
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