Expressive Picasso Artworks That Don’t Need Color

Would Pablo Picasso’s Weeping Woman look more somber if every surface of her body wasn’t garlanded with festive colors? Would his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter look less sensual if her curves were monochromatic instead of pale fleshy pink? Opening tomorrow at the Guggenheim, Picasso Black and White focuses on the legendary artist’s work in black, white, and gray — with the occasional hint of yellow or blue. Organized chronologically along the Guggenheim’s spiraling ramps, the show runs through January 23rd and features 118 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from 1904 to 1971, including six pieces on public view for the first time. From his devastating reflections on the atrocities of war to his opulent meditations on the female form and its various details, preview some highlights from the exhibition in our slideshow. 

The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas, after Velázquez) (Les Ménines, vue d’ensemble, d’après Velázquez) La Californie, August 17, 1957. Oil on canvas, 194 x 260 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Gift of the artist, 1968. © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Gassull Fotografia