Picasso in Halmstad

You can find Picasso’s 15-metre tall sculpture, Head of a Woman, in Figaroparken/Picasso Park along the Nissan River. The artwork in blasted concrete is a portrait of Picasso’s last wife, Jacqueline Roque.

The shape stems from a period when Picasso was experimenting with tearing paper to create silhouettes. Picasso created the first version of Head of a Woman using a weight and cut paper. The work was created and installed by Carl Nesjar, a Norwegian artist and friend of Picasso.

Detail image of Picasso's sculpture Woman's Head

Photo: Mymmel Blomberg

Why Halmstad?

Pablo Picasso was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. So how come a sculpture by Pablo Picasso is located in Halmstad?

The artist donated 16 unique sculptures to cities around the world, including to two cities in Sweden. Halmstad and Kristinehamn. It is largely thanks to the road engineer and art lover Stig Nordström that Head of a Woman is to be found in Halmstad. It was he who contacted Picasso, who in turn became interested in donating a sculpture to Halmstad.

Picasso sent two photographs of different sculptures, of which Head of a Woman was the preferred choice. The City of Halmstad sent back photographs of the site from different angles and in different light conditions. A photo montage was also created, in which the sculpture was placed. Picasso approved the site by signing the photo montage and returning it.

 Picasso's sculpture Woman's Head

Picasso's sculpture Woman's Head. Photo: Helena Karlsson

Much-discussed work

When Head of a Woman was erected in 1971, it became a popular topic of discussion in Halmstad. Some felt that the sculpture posed a threat to the beautiful park, and that it was impossible to understand what it represented. The work has also wrongly been accused of not being genuine.

In the original proposal, Head of a Woman was 18 metres tall. This was considered to be too tall, however, and it was therefore reduced to 15 metres. Today, it has won a place in hearts of Halmstad’s residents and become an important part of Halmstad’s identity. So much so that Figaroparken is now popularly known as the Picasso Park.

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