Ann Chernow: The Picasso Print Project

Well known in the art world for her depiction of iconic female images from the films of the 1930’s and 40’s, Ann Chernow has taken on a new challenge: to render those images in a new way by recreating the dramatic printing techniques of Picasso. Working with Master Printer Jim Reed, her goal was to emulate “the look” of a varied set of Picasso prints. Accompanying each of Chernow’s original prints will be a copy of the Picasso print it relates to, and notes about the methods Reed used to realize the specific aesthetic. 



The Picasso Print Project was born in 2002 when Chernow and Reed were admiring a Picasso lithograph titled White Bust on Black. Chernow appreciated the dramatic black and white print with its “beady areas.” It looked deceptively easy to do, and she wanted to try to replicate the style, eager to learn Picasso’s techniques. But Reed, her printer for many projects over the years, warned that it was not as simple as it seemed.

Chernow and Reed decided to educate themselves about the great master’s printing methods. Both agreed that Fernand Mourlot’s catalogue raisonné, Picasso Lithographs, Boston 1970, was the definitive source. Although Mourlot, Picasso’s printer, gave a general description of the processes, “how to” details were scarce. Reed would have to discover, through trial and error how Picasso achieved his unique images. Serendipity stepped in when Chernow happened to meet Mourlot’s grandson in a New York gallery. He confirmed that many of his Picasso’s techniques and materials were improvised as needed, and that Picasso might experiment with many states of the same print, scraping to alter the images after each pass through the press.

Although some of Picasso’s printmaking tools, matrixes and chemicals are no longer available, Chernow and Reed were able to recreate the effects achieved decades before, by Picasso. Both artists are excited over the results of their collaboration.

Click on the words below to open the document:

Chernow Public Collections 

Chernow Artist's Statement 

View below for more prints that are on display in the gallery. Click on an image to view larger.

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