Picasso Sculpture, on view at The Museum of Modern to February 7, 2016, offers a broad survey of Pablo Picasso’s work in three dimensions, spanning the years 1902 to 1964.
The largest museum presentation of Picasso’s sculptures to take place in the United States in nearly half a century, the exhibition brings together approximately 140 sculptures from Picasso’s entire career via loans from major public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad, including 50 sculptures from the Musée national Picasso-Paris.
Picasso Sculpture focuses on the artist’s lifelong work with sculpture, with a particular focus on his use of materials and processes. The exhibition is organized in chapters corresponding to the distinct periods during which Picasso devoted himself to sculpture, each time exploring with fresh intensity the modern possibilities of this ancient art form.
The Spanish artist was trained in painting, not sculpting. This allowed him to be “extremely free in thinking about what is a sculpture,” said Ann Temkin, co-curator of the show.
Picasso Sculpture is presented in collaboration with the Musee national Picasso-Paris, which lent 40 pieces for the exhibition.
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the Bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces at the behest of the Spanish nationalist government during the Spanish Civil War.
Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.
Over the course of six decades, Picasso redefined the terms of sculpture again and again, setting himself apart not only from what his colleagues were doing but also from what he himself had previously done. Whether portraying humans, animals, or objects, he invested his sculptures with a powerful charisma that belies their inanimate status. Relative to painting, sculpture occupied a deeply personal place in the artist’s work.
During his lifetime, Picasso kept most of his sculptures, living among them as if they were family members. After his death, many became part of the founding collection of the Musée national Picasso–Paris.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
11 W 53rd St. New York 10019
Until February 7 2016