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Picasso Sculpture Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art
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Picasso Sculpture Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art

- in the Galleries: Arts and Education


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Picasso Sculpture Exhibit
At the
Museum of Modern Art
www.moma.org
11 West 53rd Street
NY, NY 10019
212.708.9431

(Picasso Sculpture Exhibit Web Page)

Paul Jackson, MoMA Communications Manager

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 8, 2016


Read about Picasso here.

A selection of 141 of Pablo Picasso’s sculptures, created between 1902-1964, was only on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) through last night at midnight. I was determined not to miss this exhibit and actually remained in the museum, taking in this magnificent art show, until past eleven in the evening. Actually it was also the night of Super Bowl 50, and I assumed the crowds would be thin. I was wrong, with lines winding, but the spaciousness of the galleries was generous. I was so glad not to miss this unique opportunity, being much more familiar with the artist’s paintings than his sculptures, which ranged from taller than life to miniatures in a glass display case. The individual or combined materials he used were clay, lumber, sheet metal, plaster, cardboard, bronze, paint, wire, sand, with the addition of cake molds, pebbles, absinthe spoons, and spigots. The MOMA exhibit notes indicate that Picasso did not sell or give away most of his sculptures, but after he died they were included in the collection of the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Additional lenders to this exhibit were anonymous and known, private collections and international museums that house Picasso’s works, such as the Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou.

I was fascinated, among the miniature and tabletop sculptures in the collection (brought together just for this project) of six 1914 “Glass of Absinthe” works, which are painted bronze and sit slightly distorted, as if the artist was imbibing while sculpting. The spoon atop the glass seems rusted through with multiple turns in the infamous anise-flavored spirit. I photographed my favorite works, many of them Picasso’s “in the moment” impression of one his mistresses or muses. “Kneeling Woman Combing Her Hair” (1906) and two sculptures titled “Seated Woman” (1929), all bronze, were remarkably different, with the earlier piece more impressionistic and the latter two pieces more abstract. “Bust of a Woman” (1931), “Head of a Woman” (1931-32), and “Head of a Woman” (1941), are all built from plaster. The two earlier works, one from the breast upwards, the other from an elongated neck upwards, have deliberate, surrealist distortions. They were modeled after Picasso’s youthful companion at his château in Boisgeloup, Marie-Thérèse Walter. The 1941 work, of another of Picasso’s longtime lovers, Dora Maar, a photographer and muse, is pleasant and lifelike in appearance.

From 1945-1953, Picasso created ceramics and assemblages, most fabricated in Vallauris, a seaside town in Southern France, where he stayed from 1948 to 1955. These mostly small works required attentive gazing, as they were displayed in glass cabinets. I was particularly fascinated by “Flowery Watering Can” (1951-52), made with an actual watering can, plaster, metal, nails, and wood. Among the tiniest works (1947-1950), I focused on the “Owl” vase and “Bottle: Kneeling Woman”. And then there was a massive room with a collection of 1952-58 Vallauris and Cannes works, may larger than life. My two favorites of the bronze works were the ingénue “Woman with a Baby Carriage” and “Little Girl Jumping Rope”, both created in (1950-54). The first exuded inherent pride, and the second exuded vibrant joy. My favorites of the tall, wooden sculptures were six, placed together in sand, as “The Bathers” collection.

The final gallery, of Picasso’s 1954-64 sheet metal sculptures, included “Woman with Hat” (1961), “Maquette for Richard J. Daley Center Sculpture” (1964), and “Sylvette” (1954). The maquette, of simulated and oxidized welded steel, on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago, was in preparation for a massive commission in Daley Plaza, Chicago. Throughout the eleven galleries, I was struck by the persistent elements of Surrealism and Cubism, worth a study on its own. Picasso had many muses, including lovers, wives, ravaging wars, and seaside residencies in his diverse set of life experiences. Kudos to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for organizing and presenting this rare exhibit.


"Kneeling Woman Combing Her Hair", Paris, 1906
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Glass of Absinthe", 1914
Painted bronze, absinthe spoon, by Pablo Picasso
One of six on display
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Guitar", 1914
Painted sheet metal, tin box, iron wire, by Pablo Picasso
The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of the artist
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Seated Woman", Paris, 1929
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Seated Woman", Paris, 1929
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Bust of a Woman", Boisgeloup, 1931
Plaster, by Pablo Picasso
Private Collection, Gagosian Gallery
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Woman in the Garden", Paris, 1929-30
Welded and painted iron, by Pablo Picasso
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Head of a Woman", Boisgeloup, 1931-32
Plaster, by Pablo Picasso
The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Jacqueline Picasso
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Woman with Vase", Boisgeloup, 1933
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Woman Carrying a Vessel", 1935
Painted wood/objects/nails/cement/wood, by Pablo Picasso
Musée national Picasso-Paris
"Figure", Mougins, 1938
Painted wood/nails/screws/string/wire/clay/wood, by Pablo Picasso
Private Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"The Orator", 1933-34
Plaster. stone, metal dowel, by Pablo Picasso
Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, Oakes Funds
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Man with a Lamb", Paris, 1943
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sturgis and Ingersoll
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Head of a Woman", Paris, 1941
Plaster, by Pablo Picasso
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Flowery Watering Can", Paris, 1951-52
Plaster/watering can/metal/nails/wood, by Pablo Picasso
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Earthenware Collection, by Pablo Picasso in Vallauris, 1947-1950:
"Vase: Woman", Musée national Picasso-Paris
"Standing Bull" (Vase), Musée Picasso, Antibes
"Owl" (Vase), Musée Picasso, Antibes
"Bottle: Kneeling Woman", Musée national Paris-Picasso
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Woman with a Baby Carriage", Vallauris, 1950-54
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"The Bathers" Collection, Wood, by Pablo Picasso in Cannes, 1956
"The Bathers: Woman Diver", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
"The Bathers: Man with Folded Hands", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
"The Bathers: Fountain Man", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
"The Bathers: Child", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
"The Bathers: Woman with Outstretched Arms", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
"The Bathers: Young Man", Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"The Woman with a Key", Vallauris, 1953-54
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Private Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Little Girl Jumping Rope", Vallauris, 1950-54
Bronze, by Pablo Picasso
Private Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Woman with Hat", Cannes, 1961 / Mougins, 1963
Painted sheet metal, by Pablo Picasso
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Beyeler Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Maquette for Richard J. Daley Center Sculpture", Mougins, 1964
Simulated and oxidized welded steel, by Pablo Picasso
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Pablo Picasso
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



"Sylvette", Vallauris, 1954
Painted sheet metal, by Pablo Picasso
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net