- Baltasar Lobo
- Pièce d'eau
- inscribed Lobo, numbered E.A. 1/3 and stamped with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris
- 123 by 223 by 150cm., 48½ by 87¾ by 59in.
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Born in 1910 Baltasar Lobo started life in a world on the verge of being torn apart and put back together. Aged twelve he was taken in as an apprentice to the sculptor Ramon Nuñez. His passion for the art form quickly grew and in 1927, having won a scholarship to the School of Fine Art, Lobo moved from his home, Zamora, to Madrid to study. It was here that he was introduced to the work of Miró, Picasso and Gargallo and began to develop his unique artistic style. It was also during this time that Lobo became involved in the CNT movement and began to work for the Republic. At the end of the civil war and the rise of Franco’s dictatorship Lobo and his wife Mercedes Guillen fled Spain to start a new life in the heart of liberal Europe – Paris.
Having moved to Montparnasse Lobo immediately immersed himself in the exciting artistic movements taking over the city. Becoming friends with Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipschitz and Henri Laurens (for whom he worked as an assistant) Lobo was able to feed off of their creativity and cultivate his own style. The relationships that he made in his first few years in Paris stayed with him for life. He exhibited alongside the Ecole de Paris in 1945 at the Galerie Vendôme and was thereafter accepted by the group putting works in the touring exhibitions in Tokyo, Oslo, Prague, Caracas and London.
Much like his contemporaries Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi and Joan Miró Lobo was experimenting with the contours and shape of the female nude as a means of exploring abstraction. Like the modernists Picasso and Malevich, who through their work made significant reference to archaic and primitive forms of art, Lobo experimented with early Iberian sculpture in his most abstract works. His first solo exhibition was held in 1960 where the critics praised his work, especially Two Dead Spaniards which commented on the ferocity and terror of the Spanish Civil War. This work along with a number of others can now be found in public spaces in Madrid.
The simplistic form of Pièce d’eau highlights every aspect of Lobo’s practice and artistic ideal. Through the dark green patina and perfectly curved surfaces one can see and feel the serenity of the female nude. By only acknowledging the anatomy of the figure through smooth curves Lobo is able reduce the figure to its most simplified and naïve components to convey exquisite balance, form and femininity.