Pablo Picasso, the famed Spanish painter, created a Maquette for Guitar in 1912. This unique artwork is an assemblage or three-dimensional collage made with cardboard, paper, string, and wire. Its modernity lies in artistic innovations such as its outlined planes and negative space rather than anatomical correctness that had been the norm. The surviving sheet-metal version is one of the earliest surviving Cubist sculptures by Picasso.
Picasso’s treatment of forms differed significantly from traditional sculpture materials; therefore, the Maquette for Guitar represents a schism between past and present modes of creating sculpture. Its innovative techniques were groundbreaking for artists like his friend and art dealer D. H. Kahnweiler, who regarded it as extraordinary artistry symbolizing Pablo’s originality in artistic interpretation.
The importance of this piece extends beyond its time to contemporary society because Picasso’s cardboard Guitar influenced many influential artists from different parts of the world to adopt similar techniques throughout their careers; these included early-20th-century Russian avant-garde artists and even Dadaists who appreciated its modern ordinariness.