Julio González

Architectural Figure No. 2


Not on display

Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Personnage architectural no. 2
Ink, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 318 × 241 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

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

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Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01623 Personnage architectural No.2 (Architectural Figure No.2) 1940

Inscribed '26-4-40 | J.G.' b.r.
Pen and wash and pencil on off-white paper, 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 (31.8 x 24.2)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Exh: Julio González: Drawings and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, touring exhibition, November 1968-January 1971 (44) as 'Cactus Figure'
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Projets pour Sculptures: Personnages (Paris 1975), p.108 repr.

'Architectural Figure' is a pen and wash drawing dated 31 August 1939 (Gibert, op. cit., p.104) which is not directly related to this work. Much closer is a variant done the same day, which is known as 'Figure with a Daisy' (Gibert, op. cit., p.107). The forms in the Tate's drawing have some resemblance to a welded iron sculpture made in 1936-7 known as the 'Large Sickle'.

There is the bottom half of a drawing in pencil of a female figure with legs apart (possibly one of the studies leading up to the 'Small Frightened Montserrat') on the verso. The drawing is cut off by the edge of the paper, which suggests that the sheet was originally about twice the size.

[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.321, reproduced p.321

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