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The Chicago Picasso

Photo credit: Bill Richert
The Picasso on Daley Plaza Photo credit: Bill Richert
Photo credit: Bill Richert
From the side, a woman’s face? Photo credit: Bill Richert

Fifty feet tall and weighing more than 160 tons, the Picasso reigns over Daley Plaza, adding abstract intrigue to this already compelling public space. While it was controversial for its abstraction when it was dedicated in 1967, the Picasso has become a beloved part of the Chicago landscape and a symbol of the city. The untitled sculpture needs no name other than “the Picasso.”

Even though Picasso himself never revealed what the abstract figure represents, a view from the side reveals a woman’s profile; some have speculated that it is a young French woman who modeled for Pablo Picasso in 1954.

It was commissioned by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, architects of the Richard J. Daley Center.