Pablo Picasso, like any artist, has created work that have been now titled as “unknown.” Diurnes, meaning “daytime” or “by day” in French, is a large collection of Picasso’s work that contained 30 original photograms. André Villers is the photographer that captured the lithographs of the collection for people around the globe to admire. The images are a homage to Matisse’s final works before his death, through the great cut-outs and color collages.
The original inspiration for Picasso was his grandchildren and the paper masks and animal faces they were making. Diurnes was the creation of Picasso experimenting with photogram, images that are produced without a camera and placing objects onto the surface of a light-sensitive material and exposing it to light. With this process, Picasso and Villers was able to show the beauty of nature which is what the whole collection is about.
On the Diurnes: Unknown Picassos exhibition page, you see the collection of unknown works by Pablo Picasso. You’re able to visually see his use of nature within this work and, through the exhibit, the viewer is able to view nature through Picasso’s visual lens. In order for Picasso to create these amazing works, he used a photogram. ILFORD photo shared a great YouTube video about how to make photograms.
To make a photogram, you keep part of the paper you are using covered white you expose the rest of the area to the light. For the light source you can use something as simple as a desk lamp! After exposing paper to take the image, you want to use tongs and place the image in a stop bath for a total of ten seconds and then into fixer solution for a couple of minutes to make the image permanent. Looking at Picasso’s unknown works, it is amazing he found inspiration from Matisse and his grandkids, and it was the result from something as simple as light.
By Madelayne Abel, Halsey Institute intern