Julio González

Vibrating Figure

1938

Original title
Personnage vibrant
Medium
Graphite, ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 327 x 254 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972
Reference
T01614

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

T01614 Personnage vibrant (Vibrating Figure) 1938

Inscribed 'J.G. | 1938 | 11-2' b.r. (the initials and year in ink, '11-2' in pencil)
Pencil, pen and watercolour on paper, 12 7/8 x 10 (32.6 x 25.4)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Exh: Julio González, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, April-May 1967 (37, repr.)
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Projets pour Sculptures: Personnages (Paris 1975), p.63 repr.
Repr: Vicente Aguilera Cerni, Julio Joan Roberta González: Itinerario de una Dinastía (Barcelona 1973), p.245, pl.193 in colour

There are several other drawings of more or less the same theme (Gibert, op. cit., pp.62-3), the closest being one known as 'Virulent Figure' in which the forms are almost identical but are brown instead of green and are silhouetted against a grey-black background. However it is dated in pencil 11 February 1937 instead of 1938. As the other studies are dated 28 January 1938 or 10 February 1938, it would appear that the year was written incorrectly and that it was actually done on the same day as this work.

[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