Nav: Home

Picasso's plans to build the world's tallest concrete sculpture uncovered in Florida

February 28, 2018

It's been 50 years since world renowned artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) announced his vision to create the world's tallest and one of his final sculptures on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. For the first time, a key researcher at USF has pieced together the project's historical significance with the discovery of a now obsolete audio reel (¼"x1200' 7'), which included a 1974 recording made by famed collaborator Carl Nesjar.

"When I found the reel, I had a feeling it was going to be a major piece to the puzzle," said art historian and archaeologist Kamila Oles, University of South Florida. "It took a really long time to find a company with the technology to convert it to MP3. When I realized it was Carl Nesjar speaking, my jaw nearly hit the floor."

Nesjar worked with Picasso for 20 years, turning his drawings and models into large public sculptures, such as the 36-foot "Bust of Sylvette," currently displayed at New York University. It predates the 1971 PicassoUSF project, in which he donated a small-scale model of "Bust of a Woman" to the Tampa campus. In addition to Nesjar's oration, Oles discovered a copy of Picasso's approval photograph and sketches, which demonstrated their vision of building a 100-foot sculpture made of reinforced concrete, surrounded by an architectural art center designed by world famous architect Paul Rudolph. Rudolph lived in Sarasota, Florida at the time and had already built several structures throughout the state.

The State Board of Regents approved construction of the massive sculpture and center on April 9, 1973, the day after the artist's death, but never agreed to fund the estimated $10 million project. It eventually failed due to lack of donations. While PicassoUSF never came to fruition in its form, individuals and researchers across the world will soon have the ability to study "Bust of Woman" and Rudolph's art and visitor center in its original architectural context through a virtual gallery.

"We are the next artisans who will bring to life the biggest project of the world's most renowned artist by means of new technologies," said Oles. "It is an extraordinary pleasure to realize Picasso's desire. I believe he would be very enthusiastic about our virtual reality methods."
-end-


University of South Florida (USF Health)

Related Vision Articles:

Improving the vision of self-driving vehicles
There may be a better way for autonomous vehicles to learn how to drive themselves: by watching humans.
A new model of vision
MIT researchers have developed a computer model of face processing that could reveal how the brain produces richly detailed visual representations so quickly.
Vision may be the real cause of children's problems
Do you have poor motor skills or struggle to read, write or solve math problems?
Shark and ray vision comes into focus
Until now, little has been known about the evolution of vision in cartilaginous fishes, particularly sharks and their genetic cousins, the rays.
The birth of vision, from the retina to the brain
How do neurons differentiate to become individual components of the visual system?
Tracing the evolution of vision
The function of the visual photopigment rhodopsin and its action in the retina to facilitate vision is well understood.
Going the distance: Brain cells for 3D vision discovered
Scientists at Newcastle University have discovered neurons in insect brains that compute 3D distance and direction.
A new vision for genomics in animal agriculture
Iowa State University animal scientists helped to form a blueprint to guide the next decade of animal genomics research.
Putting vision models to the test
MIT neuroscientists have performed the most rigorous testing yet of computational models that mimic the brain's visual cortex.
A new vision for neuroscience
For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the brain.
More Vision News and Vision Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.