This winter, an exhibition at New York’s MoMA explores an often overlooked body of Picasso’s work. Sienna Vittoria Lee-Coughlin reports.
Most people know Pablo Picasso as the prolific painter who radically reshaped the art world at the turn of the 20th century. But as prolific as his paintings were, a significant part of his later oeuvre, is often overlooked: his sculptures. In order to acquaint gallery-goers with the Spanish artist’s other talents, a comprehensive exhibition, titled Picasso Sculpture, will include an array of sculpted works to celebrate his lesser-known side.
Picasso, who was educated as a painter, lacked the extensive training and methodical techniques possessed by other sculptors. And yet this absence of formal schooling is what made his sculptures so fascinating. Because Picasso was not confined by tradition or rules, he created freely. “He did not know [the rules], so it was easier for him to break them,” explains co-curator Ann Temkin. “Picasso redefined what sculpture could be again and again.”
The evolution of Picasso’s sculpting career as it ebbed and flowed through periods of activity and inactivity, and through the use of new tools, techniques, and themes, is documented throughout the exhibit. “Picasso not only reinvented his own practice many times over, but continuously set himself apart from other artists,” says Temkin. The exhibition is categorized into sections that display his sculptures from 1902 to 1964, beginning with the unfolding of early cubism, moving into the war-torn years and ending with midcentury assemblage and sheet metal sculptures. Picasso Sculpture offers a fresh perspective on the iconic artist. “His constant experimentation, invention, and drive to make things that had never been done before are incredibly compelling,” says Temkin. “This is what we would like for our audience to experience.” Picasso Sculpture runs until February 7, 2016 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.