Picasso’s Bust of Sylvette
New York University seems to have bought up this entire city. The Brutalist “Silver Towers” off Bleecker Street were designed in by I.M.Pei’s (who is most famous for designing the pyramid glass structure at the Louvre in Paris) firm in the 1960s to be used as student housing. Pei personally chose to enlarge one of the five busts from Picasso’s 1934 series inspired by a woman named Sylvette David to adorn the courtyard, and was responsible for its construction, as Picasso never set foot in the United States.
Using sandblasted cement, Pei hired Carl Nesjar and Sigurd Frager to recreate the bust in 1967, which was enlarged to 36 feet and weighs 60 tons. The rough cement of the giant bust compliments the harsh surface of the three identical apartment towers which surround it. It was declared a landmark in 2008.
Who: Pablo Picasso
What: Bust of Sylvette (reinterpretation)
Where: University Village, 505 Laguardia Place
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