PRINT January 2011

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“Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914”

Interior of Pablo Picasso’s studio, 1912, 242, boulevard Raspail, Paris, 1912.

Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914


February 13–June 6

Curated by Anne Umland

OF ALL THE AMAZING FEATS of William Rubin’s curatorial career at MoMA—his exhibitions, his acquisitions, his global associations—the one of which he was proudest was his ability to persuade Picasso to part with Guitar, 1914, the earliest of the artist’s sheet-metal-constructed sculptures, which Picasso gave as a gift to the museum along with what was then understood to be its maquette, the cardboard Guitar from 1912. The guitars presage the revolution in sculptural practice that would take place over the course of the century, as carving, modeling, and casting were abandoned in favor of the “drawing in space” that would open onto welding and stacking.

In Picasso’s oeuvre, his emotional associations with the flamenco-tinged object gave guitars a kind of leverage within his

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