Julio González

Barcelona 1876 - Arcueil, França 1942

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Julio González was born in Barcelona in 1876. His work contains sculptures, painting and drawings. His father, Concordio González, was a goldsmith and metalworker with his own workshop located in the Rambla Catalunya in Barcelona. At an early age he started working in his father’s shop, which explains his profound knowledge of metals and other materials. During his early years, it is evident that he took drawing lessons with other young aspiring artists. Further on, González was part of the flourishing cultural scene of Barcelona and spent time at famous cabaret Els Quatre Gats where he met other artists such as Rusiñol, Nonell, Mir and Picasso. After his first visit to Paris in 1897, he embraced his passion for painting and moved to Paris. There he was associated with Pablo Picasso, also a young artist at the time. The two artists would be crossing paths again in 1928, while working on sculptures together which are considered to be crucial in the development of modern sculpture. Before the 1920s the artist dedicated his time more on painting than on sculpture, but this should change through the course of his career. The 1930s can be described as one of the most important and prosperous periods of his artistic life including works like Tête dite "Le tunnel" (Head called “The Tunnel”) or Tête dite “L’escargot (Head called “The Snail”) which can be found in the Tate in London and the MoMA in New York City. His work is part of the collection of numerous other museums such as the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and the IVAM (Valencia's Institute of Modern Art) in Valencia amongst others. In the 1940s he received international recognition and was invited to take part in a group exhibition in the Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland. Important international collectors acquired his art and González work was even exhibited in the MoMA in New York City (“Cubism and Abstract Art” in 1936 and “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism” in 1937). The German occupation of Paris in 1939 made it difficult for the artist to continue his work on sculpture, which made him focus on drawing during the last period of his life until his death in 1942. His exceptional body of work has had a profound impact on paving the way to Modernism, not just in Europe but across the world.