Bronze makes British debut in huge exhibition emphasising the importance of Picasso's work as a sculptor

David Lister
Saturday 12 February 1994 01:02

PENNY HACKING, a technician at the Tate Gallery in London, positioning The Woman with a Vase, a bronze sculpture by Picasso that has never been seen before in Britain, writes David Lister.

The work, normally in the Prado in Madrid, will be shown at the Picasso exhibition which opens at the Tate next week. The Woman with a Vase was completed in 1933. A second cast of the sculpture is on Picasso's grave in France. Near the end of his life the artist requested that this bronze cast go to the Prado to be reunited with the Guernica mural. Ten days after his death, his widow had the other cast set up over his grave in the garden of the Chateau de Vauvenargues.

The exhibition, the biggest in Britain this year, opens on Tuesday and runs until May. It features more than 160 sculptures, paintings, drawings and ceramics assembled over four years by the curators, Dr John Golding and Elizabeth Cowling. Many works are on loan from the Picasso family or museums. Several are from private collections, and have never been shown in public before.

The exhibition aims to explore in detail for the first time the relationship between Picasso's sculpture and painting, showing how the artist's importance as a sculptor has been underrated and how sculpture was a key influence on other areas of his work. Though bettter known for his paintings, Picasso created a huge body of sculpture and revolutionised the art form in terms of technique and subject matter.

The exhibition includes key works of the pre-Cubist and Cubist periods, the wire, iron and plaster sculptures of the 1920s and 1930s and the associated paintings, and the sheet metal and monumental works of the 1950s and 1960s.

(Photograph omitted)

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