Picasso Sculpture

*Maquette for Richard J. Daley Sculpture Center*

Pablo Picasso. Maquette for Richard J. Daley Sculpture Center. 1964 726

Pablo Picasso. Maquette for Richard J. Daley Center Sculpture. 1964. Simulated and oxidized welded steel. The Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Pablo Picasso

Narrator: This is a "maquette," or model, for the 50-foot-tall sculpture that stands in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. Ann Temkin:

Ann Temkin: It's a piece that's based on the head of Picasso's wife, Jacqueline. And also many people read into it the head of their Afghan hound, particularly in that sort of snout-like forehead/nose area at the center. It was the last sculpture that Picasso made.

In 1967, when the piece was unveiled, tens of thousands of Chicagoans turned up.  And you can imagine there was the almost inevitable bit of ridicule for a sculpture that didn't particularly look like a general on a horse or something like that. But over time, it came to be one of the icons of the Chicago cityscape.

Picasso did not like the idea of becoming art history. He wanted to be always participating in the present and, I would say, even in the future. So it's very characteristic that during those last few years of his life, even though he had stopped making sculpture on a day-to-day basis, that he would be enthusiastic about taking part in this very contemporary enterprise of large public outdoor sculpture – sculpture that would be part of the lives of everyday people, just like sculpture was so much part of his everyday life.

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