I’ve had a thing for Picasso since I was a 9-year-old nerd with a red French beret, trying to become an artist and a dolphin trainer at the same time. I try to see as much of Picasso’s work as possible, so it’s helpful to live in New York City.
Here, I’ve seen Picasso Guitars at the MoMA, Picasso: Black and White at the Guggenheim, and the Cubism exhibit at the Met earlier this year, focused mostly on Pablo and his bud Georges Braque. This year, I’ve also been lucky enough to visit the Picasso museum in Barcelona, experience Guernica in Madrid, and visit the Rosengart’s extensive Picasso collection in Lucerne, Switzerland. I also made it a point to see the giant Picasso sculpture when I was visiting Chicago this fall. In typing all this up, I’m suddenly wondering if I have a problem. Is this normal?
Last week, I popped into the Museum of Modern Art to experience Picasso Sculpture, an exhibition that opened in September and closes February 7. It’s well worth the visit, especially if you live in the city. The exhibit is displayed chronologically and shows Picasso’s work from 1902, before he even started exploring Cubism, to 1964, with his sheet metal painted sculptures.
There are about 140 pieces in the exhibit, but not one of them is much like the next. Even Picasso’s six “Glass of Absinthe” sculptures from 1914 vary from each other. There are pieces as small as engraved pebbles and pieces way larger than I am. It always impresses me how Picasso, like so many before him, delivered masterpieces seamlessly in such a wide variety of mediums. Because I’m not an artist, I have trouble imagining that the same skills are needed with a paintbrush as a chisel or with scissors, but I’m okay with this bewilderment. It’s probably what I like best about art.
Below are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibition, including a guitar made of paper and a baboon with a head of Picasso’s son’s toy car:
It’s one thing to look at pictures and appreciate Picasso’s work and creativity, but it’s a whole other experience to see it in person and walk around it in circles, to see it from all perspectives. This video will help, but do your best to get over there and see this exhibit yourself before February!