Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Fernande), Plaster, 1909

Pablo Picasso

Head of a Woman (Fernande), 1909

18 1/2 x 14 1/8 x 13 3/4 in. (47 x 35.9 x 34.9 cm.)

Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Picasso first met Fernande Olivier in the autumn of 1904, while living in his studio in Montmartre, Paris, known as the Bateau Lavoir. She would be his mistress for the next seven years. During their lengthy relationship, Fernande was Picasso’s primary model and muse, appearing over and over in his work. This was a period of rapid evolution in Picasso’s art, and images of Fernande provide a connecting link between his different stylistic mutations. Over a ten-month period in 1909, Picasso created more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and drawings of her. Made during this creative surge, Head of a Woman was Picasso’s first attempt to translate into sculpture the faceted planes and multiple viewpoints developed in Cubist painting. The resulting cascade of curving and diagonal forms generates a dynamic impression of movement.

Richard Serra has expressed admiration for Picasso’s work in sculpture:

Picasso seems to be actually more inventive in sculpture than in painting. It seems like he has it in his fingertips, and he doesn’t have to fight the history of sculpture, whereas he always seems to be up against the history of painting. He’s a natural sculptor—he can see something three-dimensionally, from above and below and right and left, and can put it down in the blink of an eye.

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Photo Credits

(c) 2005 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York "Reproduction, including downloading of Arp, Brancusi, Braque, Calder, de Kooning, Dubuffet, Ernst, Giacometti, Gonzalez, Laurens, Maillol, Pevsner, Puni, Richier, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Newman, Archipenko, Smith, Stella, Chamberlain, Serra and/or Shapiro works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York."

Photographer: Tom Jenkins


Right side: 'Picasso'


Pablo Picasso
Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1909
Estate of Ambroise Vollard
Jacques Ulmann, Paris, 1959
Heinz Berggruen, Paris
Pablo Picasso, Paris
Marina Picasso, Paris
Jan Krugier
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas, 1987



Foundations: Richard Serra

January 28 - April 23, 2017

In conjunction with the exhibition Richard Serra: Prints the Nasher Sculpture Center’s curators have chosen works from the Nasher Collection that provide context for better understanding Serra’s work. The sculptures span decades, from the experiments of Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, and Henri Matisse in the first years of the twentieth century to works by Serra’s near-contemporaries Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, and Richard Long.

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Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
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