Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Guitar, Paris, 1924. Painted sheet metal, painted tin box, and iron wire 43 11/16 × 25 × 10 1/2 in. (111 × 63.5 × 26.6 cm). Musée national Picasso–Paris. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

It’s a long-established fact of art history that Pablo Picasso, trained only as a painter, revolutionized sculpture in the twentieth century. He introduced new subjects, such as still life; new materials, using sheet metal in the 1914 Guitar and everyday objects like a bicycle seat and handlebars for the 1942 Bull’s Head; new processes such as assemblage,...


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