Julio González

Fantastic Figure

1937

Original title
Personnage fantastique
Medium
Graphite, ink, watercolour and crayon on paper
Dimensions
Support: 327 x 254 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972
Reference
T01613

Display caption

González used drawing as a primary way of exploring his ideas. These drawings, made over a six-year period, show how his abstract idiom was rooted in reality and, especially, in the figure. González concentrated on upright structures that, if translated into sculpture, would make use of the strength and balance available from welded iron. This group gives a sense of his inventiveness as he worked towards images with a high emotional charge.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01613 Personnage fantastique (Fantastic Figure) 1937

Inscribed 'J.G. | 1937 | 31-12' b.l. (the initials and year in ink, '31-12' in pencil)
Pencil, ink, watercolour and crayon on cream paper, 12 7/8 x 10 (32.6 x 25.4)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Exh: Espagña Libre, Rimini, Florence, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia and Venice, August 1964-May 1965 (works not numbered); 2. Internationale der Zeichnung, Mathildehöhe, Darmstadt, July-September 1967 (167, repr.); Julio González: Drawings and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, touring exhibition, November 1968-January 1971 (27) as 'Standing Figure'
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Projets pour Sculptures: Personnages (Paris 1975), p.61 repr.
Repr: Ronald Alley, The González Gift to the Tate Gallery (London 1974), p.34

This drawing has some stylistic similarity to the welded iron sculptures 'Woman with a Mirror' of 1936-7 and 'Cactus Man II' of 1939.

[All the drawings by Julio González given to the Tate are authenticated on the back by his daughter Roberta González and inscribed with a title and date, or approximate date. The titles are used in the catalogue entries, but the dating has been made more precise wherever possible. (Julio González's drawings are usually dated from about 1934 onwards, but the great majority of the early drawings are undated).]

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.319, reproduced p.319