Julio González

Shrieking Head, called ‘The Shriek’


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Not on display
Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Tête criant dite 'Le Cri'
Graphite, ink, watercolour and crayon on paper
Support: 280 x 337 mm
frame: 425 x 598 x 23 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

Display caption

The relationship between realism and abstraction in González's work is demonstrated in these drawings, where the two modes of representation converge. The realistic heads are marked with the strict planes and stylistic traits that would facilitate their construction in folded metal. Though schematic, the abstract heads are taut with emotion. All were made in the early years of the Second World War, and their imagery echoes González's response to the Spanish Civil War.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01618 Tête criant dite 'Le Cri' (Shrieking Head called 'The Shriek') 1939

Inscribed '4-2 | 3-2 | 13 | 12-1-39 | J.G.' b.r.
Pencil, pen, watercolour and crayon on paper (with collage), 11 x 13 1/4 (28 x 33.7)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Exh: Espagña Libre, Rimini, Florence, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia and Venice, August 1964-May 1965 (works not numbered); Julio González, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, April-May 1967 (49, repr.)
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Scènes Paysannes (Paris 1975), p.334 repr.
Repr: Ronald Alley, The González Gift to the Tate Gallery (London 1974), p.36

The head was cut out of a different sheet of paper, following the outline, and then stuck onto a white background. The form is conceived in a manner reminiscent of some of González's early sheet-metal sculptures made about 1925-30, with all the shapes cut from the same sheet of metal and bent slightly to produce a suggestion of modelling.

[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.320, reproduced p.320


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