Sometime during the year, Picasso created the plaster Head of a Warrior (pl. 68), a sculpture that conveys the infinite variety of materials and creative processes he used in making his sculptures. For this work he used the so-called imprint technique, in which materials are pressed into fresh plaster to create indexical impressions, and objects are sometimes embedded in the work itself. Picasso also cast certain forms, such as the triangular base, for which he poured plaster inside a vessel made of corrugated cardboard-possibly a simple box he had cut into shape beforehand for use as a mold. The artist probably used keyed segments from a discarded plaster mold to indicate the plume of the Spartan-style helmet, while two tennis balls form the warrior's eyes. Other materials, such as a sculptor's stand, chicken wire, nails, wire, and a crowbar, are revealed in an x-radiograph taken of the original plaster in the Conservation Laboratory of The Museum of Modern Art.
Publication excerpt from Picasso Sculpture, 2015. Edited by Ann Temkin and Anne Umland. Essays by Virginie Perdrisot, Luise Mahler and Nancy Lim, p. 144-145.