The exhibition Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914 takes as its point of departure two works given to The Museum of Modern Art by Pablo Picasso in the early 1970s: Guitar, assembled from cardboard, paper, wire, glue, and string in 1912, and a second version made of sheet metal in 1914. Unexpectedly humble in subject and unprecedented in mode of execution, the two Guitar constructions resembled no artwork ever seen before. Within Picasso’s long career they bracket a remarkably brief yet intensely generative period of material and structural experimentation. The exhibition, on view from February 13 through June 6, 2011, brings together some 65 closely related collages, constructions, drawings, paintings, and photographs from over 35 public and private collections worldwide. Several works on loan to the exhibition will be on view for the very first time in the United States, chief among them Violin Hanging on the Wall (1912–13), from the Kunstmuseum Bern, and Guitar, Gas Jet, and Bottle (1913), from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. MoMA is the exhibition’s only venue. Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914 is organized by Anne Umland, Curator, with Blair Hartzell, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art.
Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914 affords a rich picture of Picasso’s process as he engaged with different materials, mediums, and techniques in an extraordinary cross-pollination of practices. Among the notable works on view are: Guitar (1912), Siphon, Glass, Newspaper, and Violin (1912), Musical Score and Guitar (1912), Violin Hanging on the Wall (1912–13), Guitar (1913), and Bar Table with Guitar (1913). For his painting Guitar, from 1912, Picasso paired traditional craftsman’s techniques used to imitate wood-graining and marble with bold, contoured planes. In the still life composition Siphon, Glass, Newspaper, and Violin, Picasso incorporated cut-and-pasted newspaper as both figure and ground, complicating the space occupied by his graphic still life.
through June 6, 2011
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY