Julio González

Imaginary Face


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Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Visage fantastique
Graphite, ink and crayon on paper
Support: 327 × 251 mm
frame: 600 × 423 × 24 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

Display caption

Like the contemporary sculpture <i>Head called 'The Tunnel'</i>, these drawings restructure the head. González explores different cylindrical possibilities for the neck and skull. In <i>Sulky Face</i>, triangles and rectangles spiral outwards to describe the eye and nose, while a single curved plane passes from forehead to chin. <i>Imaginary Face</i> is more extreme. The head itself seems to occupy the void on top of the lower sheath, with the triangle providing a face. Eyes and hair help to locate these abstract forms as features.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01605 Visage fantastique (Imaginary Head) 1934

Inscribed 'J.G. | 1934' b.l.
Pencil, pen and crayons on paper, 12 3/4 x 9 7/8 (32.5 x 25.1)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Projets pour Sculptures: Figures (Paris 1975), p.43 repr.
Repr: Ronald Alley, The González Gift to the Tate Gallery (London 1974), p.25

Evidently made as an idea for a welded metal sculpture, though no piece corresponding to it is known. Another drawing dated 1934, which shows a variation on the same idea, is now in the Museo de Arte Moderno in Barcelona (repr. Gibert, op. cit., p.42 as 'Insect Head'). It differs from T01605 in being without the triangular metal plate and the vertical sheet of metal at the back; the eyes are mounted on the ends of thin protruding rods, the hair is more elaborate and there are supporting 'legs' on either side.

[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.314, reproduced p.314

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