Artist biography

Joan Gonzalez 1868-1908

Spanish draughtsman and painter, working chiefly in watercolour and pastel, of landscape and female figure subjects. Born in Barcelona, elder brother of Julio. Taught the skills of working metal by his father, a craftsman in metal, but also became more and more interested in drawing and painting. After his father's death in 1896, took over direction of the family's workshops, which were sold when the family moved to Paris c.1900. Friendship with Manolo, Gargallo, Picasso, Varèse, Max Jacob, but only seems to have exhibited twice in Paris, at the Salon d'Automne 1904 and Salon des Independants 1908. Gravely ill from tuberculosis, returned in 1906 to Barcelona and had a one-man exhibition there at the Sala Parès; died there two years later. His work remained largely unknown until the late 1950s, when his niece Roberta Gonzalez discovered a large number of his drawings and pastels and a few oil paintings stored in the attic of the family house.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.299