Artist biography

Julio Gonzalez 1876-1942

Spanish-born sculptor, metalworker, painter and draughtsman; the chief pioneer of welded iron sculpture. Born in Barcelona, younger brother of Joan. Learnt in his family's workshop to make decorative metalwork by forging and hammering metal; also began to paint in his spare time. Moved with the family to Paris c.1900, and met Picasso and other Spanish artists living there. Supported himself mainly by making metalwork and jewellery, but also exhibited paintings and sculpture (modelled pieces and repoussé masks). First one-man exhibition at the café-gallery Caméléon, Paris, 1921. The experience of executing welded iron sculptures for Picasso from his designs in 1928-32 encouraged him to devote himself wholeheartedly to sculpture. Developed a linear and spatial form of welded sculpture and exhibited in the 1930s with abstract artists and the Surrealists. Made very little sculpture after early 1939, partly because of the disruption and shortage of materials caused by the war. His works include many drawings. Died in Paris.

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.308