Picasso’s famous sculptures

Picasso's famous sculptures
Alla Fevraleva

When we think of Picasso, we think of his famous cubist paintings like the spectacular Guernica in Madrid or the somber The Old Guitarist from his blue period. We rarely associate sculpture with Picasso. Like many other great artists, however, Picasso explored other artistic styles to express himself, including sculpture.

Picasso, himself, was very secretive of his sculptures. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that he finally released them to the public during exhibitions in New York, London, and Paris.

Chicago Picasso

Picasso’s unnamed and unpainted sculpture in Chicago is often labeled simply the “Chicago Picasso. This tall fifty-foot sculpture that weighs over 160 tons can be viewed at the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. In tribute to the Daley Center, the sculpture is made with the same material called Corrosive Tensile or, for short, Cor-Ten. When the sculpture was first unveiled in 1967, it was rust-colored, but, in time, it has come to resemble a darkish gray. The sculpture, itself, is created in a cubist, three-dimensional style. Picasso’s sculpture helped spawn Chicago’s fascination with contemporary art, thus, downtown Chicago has come to accumulate approximately one hundred sculptures for art-lovers to enjoy.

La Petite Chouette

This sculpture is done in the style of found art where an artist seeks out objects to create his artistic vision. In this case, Picasso wanted to create a sculpture that depicted his emotions and his thoughts of one precise moment in time. His sculpture of an owl was created entirely of objects that he found, including nails, pliers, a piece of a saucepan and screws. Combined with plaster, he created his version of an owl. This sculpture was sold for a million and a half dollars in 2000. You can find this sculpture in Paris at the Muse Picasso. Yet another example of this found art style can be seen in his bronze sculpture entitled Baboon and Young which can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Mandolin and Clarinet

Also viewable in Paris at the Muse Picasso is his sculpture called Mandolin and Clarinet. This is one of Picasso’s constructions which he made from scraps of metal, paper, and wood. Mandolin and Clarinet is Picasso’s exploration of the three-dimensional version of cubism.

Glass of Absinthe

Absinthe is a drink that is distilled with herbs knows as wormwood. It is said that when one drinks absinthe, they are whisked to a dreamy and hallucinatory state. Picasso celebrates absinthe in his sculpture called Glass of Absinthe which is created by combining a painted bronze sculpture with a sugar strainer made of silver. One can find this sculpture in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art.


After the war in 1945, Picasso was inspired by this return to light, happiness and hope. It was around this time that he visited a ceramics factory. He was inspired to bring some of his drawings in to transform them into ceramic sculptures. He found this medium to be quite exhilarating. It was in this spirited mindset that he would use everyday clay pieces like vases and bowls and transform them into bull-rings, fish and women. During this short period, he created over 3,500 clay sculptures.

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