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Details & Cataloguing

Looking Closely: A Private Collection

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Julio González
1876 - 1942
PERSONNAGE AU CARRÉ BLANC NO. 1
signed with the initials J.G., dated 1937 and inscribed 16-3 (lower left)
collage, coloured crayons and pen and ink over pencil on paper
sheet size: 33 by 25.5cm. 13 by 10in.
window size: 30 by 23.5cm. 11 3/4 by 9 1/4 in.
Executed in 1937.
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Provenance

Galerie de France, Paris
Acquired directly from the above in 1984

Exhibited

New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Julio González: A Retrospective, 1983, no. 208, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Josette Gibert, Julio González: dessins, Paris, 1975, vol. IX, illustrated p. 50

Catalogue Note

González was a prolific draughtsman throughout his career, producing a number of drawings and works on paper as studies for his sculptures, as well as those that can be seen independently of the three-dimensional medium, as works in their own right. In Personnage au carré blanc no. 1 he combined natural elements with purely abstract forms, creating an assemblage reminiscent of his sculpture Femme au miroir (fig. 1), on which he was working at the time. Merging drawing with the medium of collage, this work appears to be the extension of the artist's experimentation with abstraction, evoking the three-dimensionality of sculpture on a flat picture plane.

 

Writing about González's work in this medium, Margit Rowell commented: 'Starting in 1932, after mastering the process of improvising with metal in space, he executed fewer truly preparatory sketches directly related to specific sculptures. Although González may have explored in drawings variations on a theme he considered particularly significant, the sculpture itself would often be quite different. Sometimes he made elaborate drawings after the sculpture was finished' (M. Rowell, in Julio González: A Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 48).

 

 

Fig. 1, Julio González, Femme au miroir, circa 1936-37, iron, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia

Looking Closely: A Private Collection

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London