A stunning collection of 118 Pablo Picasso paintings, sculptures, and sketches are on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The artwork, which Picasso created between 1904 and 1971, showcases the Spanish master’s subtle, surreal, and oftentimes sexualized use of black, white, and gray hues to produce complex, innovative works. Some have never on view in public until now.

While Picasso is known for his dramatic use of color in his stirring cubist oeuvres, the Black and White exhibit spotlights his use of monochromatic hues to produce unexpectedly expressive paintings.

Picasso in Black and White (click to enlarge)

“Claiming that color weakens, Pablo Picasso purged it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art,” said museum officials.

“The recurrent motif of black, white, and gray is evident in his Blue and Rose periods, pioneering investigations into Cubism, neoclassical figurative paintings, and retorts to Surrealism.

“Even in his later works that depict the atrocities of war, allegorical still lifes, vivid interpretations of art-historical masterpieces, and his sensual canvases created during his twilight years, he continued to apply a reduction of color.”

The Picasso Black and White exhibit is on view through Jan. 13, 2013.