Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture

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The fortuitous meeting in Paris of the sculptor Julio González and the artist Pablo Picasso gave rise to a key chapter in the history of art: the birth of iron sculpture.

The Mapfre Foundation traces the steps of both artists in an exhibition that tries to shed light on this historical moment. © EFE Via Reuters

Traditionally, the joint work between Pablo Picasso and Julio González has been considered by art historiography as the moment at which iron sculpture was “invented” and, therefore, the introduction of abstraction into the realm of sculpture. However, and for the first time, the present exhibition shows how this fact, one of the fundamental milestones in the international art of the 20th century, was not an isolated one-off event, but the consequence of a process that, in the words of Tomàs Llorens, curator of the exhibition at the origin of this project, “responded to an impulse of transparency and dematerialization that shook up, in a variety of ways, the artistic creation of the late 1920s and early 1930s”.

Fundacion MAPFRE

April 8, 2023, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and thus the year will represent a celebration of his work and his artistic legacy in France, Spain and internationally.

The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 revolves around some fifty exhibitions and events to be held at renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America that, together, address a historiographical analysis of Picasso’s work. The commemoration, accompanied by official celebrations in France and Spain, will make it possible to take stock of the research and interpretations of the artist’s work, especially during an important international symposium in autumn 2023, which also coincides with the opening of the Center for Picasso Studies in Paris.

Pablo Picasso’s sculpture « Guitar » , part of the “Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture” exhibition at the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, on September 23, 2022, marking the 50th anniversary of the painter’s death and celebrated in Spain and France as “Year of Picasso”. Credit line: Thomas COEX / AFP / Profimedia

Exhibition organized by Fundación MAPFRE with the collaboration of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, the Spanish National Commission for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso, and the González Administration. (Via Fundación MAPFRE)

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