Narrator: Picasso created these sculptures in 1928 as proposals for a gravesite monument to his great friend, the poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire, who died in 1918. They were made of welded wire. Curator Anne Umland:
Anne Umland: They were made possible by his collaborating with a Catalan sculptor named Julio González, who let Picasso work in his studio and taught him how to weld metal.
Narrator: Picasso’s art dealer later dubbed these works “drawings in space.
Anne Umland: Look at them closely. On the little sphere up at the top, there are eyes and a nose and mouth. Or look at the front of the object with those two vertical rods, and at the top and at the bottom are these funny little fingers and toes.
And you can imagine, looking at these, why a committee might have rejected them. I mean, imagine proposing a monument that is basically comprised of thin air?
Narrator: The memorial committee turned down the design, but Picasso did make these into monumental sculptures in the 1960s and ‘70s. One of them is on view in MoMA’s sculpture garden.