Bust of Sylvette

Bust of Sylvette, 1968
Designed by Pablo Picasso and constructed by Carl Nesjär
Sand blasted concrete and basalt
36 x 20 x 12 1/2 feet, 60 tons
Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil, 1968.100

Nesjär (pronounced NEH-shar) (1920–2015) was a Norwegian artist who was Picasso’s chosen fabricator from the late 1950s until Picasso’s death in 1973. Together they completed more than 30 sculptures. Bust of Sylvette was inspired by Sylvette David, one of Picasso’s favorite models.

To etch the dark, textured lines that define Sylvette and many of Picasso’s other public sculptures, Nesjar used a technique of his own devising called Betograve.

Located within University Village at 505 Laguardia Place, “Bust of Sylvette,” along with NYU’s Silver Towers (designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei), were declared a New York City landmark in 2008.