Tête de femme [Head of a Woman]
26 cm x 20.6 cm (10 1/4 in. x 8 1/8 in.)
(Málaga, Spain, 1881 - 1973, Mougins, France)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
From the late teens, Picasso systematically explored what Steinberg calls “twin-aspect faces – constructs of disparate views fetched from different vantage points.” In a seminal essay on the artist, he explains the “precise analogy” between these faces and a concept of early 20th-century epistemology: solid bodies are not in fact apprehended but mental constructs of multiple images. Steinberg continues, “these newer heads were never beheld at all. They were conceived in collage, from the union of prefabricated flat elements, recalling the fusion of ‘real’ aspects of which [Bertrand] Russell’s philosophy constructs a ‘Thing’.” This lithograph is one of the first and most concentrated examples of the phenomenon.