Emile Gilioli

Prayer and Force


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Not on display

Emile Gilioli 1911–1977
Original title
Prière et force
Object: 486 × 460 × 286 mm
Purchased 1953

Catalogue entry

Emile Gilioli 1911-1977

N06167 Prière et Force (Prayer and Force) 1952

Inscribed 'Gilioli 1952' low down
Marble, 19 1/8 x 18 1/8 x 11 ¼ (48.5 x 46 x 28.5)
Purchased from the International Sculpture Competition (Grant-in-Aid) 1953
Exh: International Sculpture Competition: The Unknown Political Prisoner, Tate Gallery, March-April 1953 (38)
Lit: Ionel Jianou and Hélène Lassalle, Gilioli (Paris 1971), No.132, p.62, variant in cement repr. pl.49
Repr: Arti Visive, 2nd series, No.2, 1955, n.p.; Pierre Guéguen (ed.), Témoignages pour la Sculpture Abstraite (Paris 1956), p.20

One of the maquettes for the International Sculpture Competition: The Unknown Political Prisoner, particulars of which are given in the note on the work by Consagra [N06166]. The artist suggested the title 'Prayer and Force' to avoid confusion with the other maquettes acquired by the Gallery. The preliminary study for it in plaster was included in his one-man exhibition at the Galerie Denise René in Paris in March 1955 (18).

Gilioli wrote that this sculpture was made specially for the competition. It was conceived to be executed on a scale 25 metres high and is a form in movement which also contains some suggestion of a human presence. The original study in plaster was smaller than the marble. The Tate's marble is a unique work with certain modifications in the composition which were made necessary by the nature of the material. There are also four polished bronzes (an edition of three, plus one artist's copy) which resemble the marble in general effect, but which were cast from the preliminary study. He also made two versions in cement about two metres high of this same composition.

'At that period, I already dreamt of carrying out a large sculpture. This joy has now been granted me' (letter of 31 July 1973).

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, pp.285-6, reproduced p.285

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