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Julio Gonzalez

"Matter-space-body and spirit. I want to build with the space that represents for me a real material. "

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Notes of biography

Emblematic figure of the artistic creation of the first half of the twentieth century and father of the iron sculpture, Julio Gonzalez has had a considerable influence on contemporary sculpture. He is born in Barcelona in 1876 into a family of goldsmiths and blacksmith art. He apprentices in the family workshop (1891-1898). The young man exhibits decorative art objects and jewelry in different salons. Parallel to his craft, he enjoys painting and drawing, taking evening classes at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona with his older brother Joan. Both boys meet many Catalan artists.
In 1899, Julio Gonzalez and his family move to Paris in the Montparnasse district. He meets Picasso, and is first attracted by painting. He befriends Manolo Hugué, Torres-Garcia and Paco Durrio and produces his first works in copper. His meeting with the Spanish sculptor Pablo Gargallo has a huge influence on the result of his artistic career. At Renault, Boulogne-Billancourt, he acquires the technique of acetylene welding, a process that play a determinate role in his creation.
Julio Gonzalez exhibits paintings at the Salon of Independents in 1907 and 1908, but with the death of his brother Juan (1908), he stops working for several months and falls into a deep depression, now only keeping contact with Picasso and Constantin Brancusi. Julio González therefore abandons gradually the painting, focusing on his forging work and metal sculptures.
The art of Julio González peaks in the 30s with large iron sculptures with unusual shapes, stylized, as in constant equilibrium in space ("Woman combing her hair", "The Giraffe", or "The Angel”, "The Insect", "The Dancer" , etc.). Vertical, air, these works are from the linear concept of "drawing in space", developed by Gonzalez during his collaboration with Picasso between 1928 and 1932 (under whose influence, Gonzalez turns increasingly toward abstraction). They precede a cycle of full round heads, some in bronze, inspired by medieval sculpture.
Julio Gonzalez dies in 1942 in Arcueil, near Paris. He has a great influence, as the post-war, on a generation of sculptors, who endorses his legacy and assumes the modernity of a work free of the stylistic boundaries between cubism and surrealism, figuration and abstraction. Developing an original work, Julio González has introduced materials and techniques once reserved for the mere production of utilitarian objects in the field of fine arts, having a decisive influence on the sculptors of iron in the second half of the twentieth century (Chillida, Tinguely, César, etc.).

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.

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Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
* « Les dessins », Josette Gibert, Bernard Dorival, 9 volumes thématiques, Ed. Carmen Martinez, Paris, 1975 All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Julio Gonzalez, Mon père », Roberta Gonzalez, Ed. Galerie de France, 1959
  • « Julio Gonzalez », Vicente Aguilera Cerni, Ed. dell’Ateneo, Rome, 1962
  • « Julio Gonzalez », Pierre Descargues, Ed. Le Musée de Poche, Paris, 1971
  • « Gonzalez : Itinerario de una Dinastia », V. Aguilera Cerni, Ed. Poligrafa, 197
  • « Julio Gonzalez : Sculpture & Drawings », R. E. Krauss, Ed. Pace Gallery, 1981
  • « J. G.: 1876-1942 : Plastiken, Zeich ….. », cat., Ed. Akademie der Kunste, 1983
  • « Gonzalez-Picasso dialogue », collectif, Ed. R. M. N., Paris, 1999
  • « Julio Gonzalez : A retrospective exhibition », cat., Ed. Art Focus-Dickinson, 2002
  • « J. G. - collection de l'IVAM », cat. Fond. Vierny - Musée Maillol, Ed. Hazan, 2004
  • « J. Gonzalez - Coll. du MNAM », collectif, Ed. C. G. Pompidou, Paris, 2007
To read from the artist :
  • « H. Hartung dialogue avec J. G. », C. Stoullig, Ed. C. Pompidou, Paris, 1991
Website :
No website dedicated to the artist.

More :


Art movements

+ CUBISM / 1907-1925 / Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Charles Dufresne, Jacques Lipchitz, Jean Metzinger, etc.
+ SURREALISM / 1924-1969 / Marcel Duchamp, Dora Maar, Kurt Schwitters, Taro Okamoto, Antonio Berni, etc.
+ MODERN SCULPTURE / 1930-1970 / William Kenneth Armiage, Constantin Brancusi, Anthony Caro, Naum Gabo, Pablo Gargallo, Isamu Noguchi, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover