The drawing Jovencita con lazo (1898) presents a great similarity of formal approaches and compositional structure with respect to this sculpture, and the same happens with three other drawings by Gargallo, which suggests that it may be a feminine archetype of the youthful years of the artist, regardless of the fact that in some cases preliminary sketches or studies are possible for the sculpture of Miss Sureda.
After expeditiously removing some parts (the bows and portions of the hair, and the ends of the shoulders), the sculptor used the cast as a model for casting bronzes.
Starting from the stone sculpture Portrait of Picasso (1913), Gargallo made a cast in plaster to obtain the model that later allowed him to make editions of this mask in terracotta and bronze, perhaps the artistic image of Picasso, together with the original one. , more reproduced, surely because of the synthesis and the extraordinary expressive values that it brings together.
This piece is one of the definitive results of the modifications that Gargallo made to the bust of his friend Fernández de Soto (the endearing Patas), from which he first separated the hand and eliminated the left shoulder, to finally turn it into two different sculptures, once the head and the hand of the character were separated and all the rest of the initial work was deleted.
Ángel Fernández de Soto was a commercial representative, a great fan of the arts, a regular member of the gathering at the Els Quatre Gats cafe and brother of the sculptor Mateu Fernández de Soto.
Here the hand and, of course, the pipe it holds are enough to suggest with complete certainty the complete personality of the man to whom it belongs.
Among the six works that we know of modeled by Gargallo in negative, this is the one with the highest degree of formal perfection and a more pronounced power of suggestion.
Singularly expressive and even expressionist due to the torsion of the anatomical shapes, this is the only sample of high relief not applied to architectural construction, and also the only completely lying nude among all the Gargallo production that we know of, it closes the reduced cycle of works modeled in recessed and executed in lead sheet, and represents one of the most apparently notorious examples of certain debatable cubist resonances.
Already around 1900, Gargallo made an ink and watercolor drawing representing an elderly woman, dressed in traditional Aragonese peasant clothing, and carrying pitchers on her hip and on her head, the latter almost lying down.
Finally, he modeled this group, with which he apparently wanted to represent two eras and states of the female body and about which he used to joke assuring that he had represented the women of Maella on the way to the fountain, which provoked the anger of the women of his town, that they were considered much more demure in daily life.
Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), a famous Parisian contemporary of Gargallo, was very popular in the artistic circles of the time and a regular muse and model for various artists. He never posed for Pablo, but, nevertheless, he dedicated one of his most paradigmatic works to him, this concave mask to be cast in bronze (the first and only of his entire production) in which he applies many of his latest discoveries with unsurpassed mastery and amazing efficiency. expressive and the most significant and synthetic resources of representation that he had tested and mastered in the execution of his sheet metal masks.
Pierrette Gargallo, his daughter and founder of the museum, a girl at the time, acted as an impromptu model for her father to model the forearms and hands of this placid figure, perhaps thematically related, due to relative closeness or coincidence of dates and if we think about the possible proximity of the sea, with four magnificent pastel drawings.
In this extraordinarily archetypal work, Gargallo brings together and synthesizes, in an emblematic way, almost all his expressive and conceptual achievements in the field of the representation of volumes, space and light, achieved throughout an artistic and vital career absolutely dedicated to in the investigation of new resources and the search for a personal and innovative language, to the point of having solved the most notorious formal aspects through the use of sign markers derived from the work of the thick iron plates that he used during the last years of his life.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), a Russian painter living in Paris, was a friend of Gargallo's, who wanted to portray him here, as a tribute or personal gift with a kind of double symbolism, referring on the one hand to the extraordinary symbiosis existing between the painter and his wife, ideally represented with that female figure that seems to go through Chagall's head - who never stopped thinking about his wife and, therefore, always carried her in his head.
Gargallo brings together here a good part of his most significant previous achievements in terms of expressive concepts and plastic language, the result of the research he carried out throughout his life in the field of the two characteristic tendencies of his work, perhaps as a demonstration that all the Past art can be seen with new, respectful but demystifying eyes, contributing to the historical heritage his own personal capacity for representation, the ideology and feelings of the author's historical moment, as Gargallo wanted.
The small male figure reclining on the horse's croup is represented with flaunting and variety of resources, so that the curls of the hair refer to classical antiquity, the left arm and the right leg are represented according to classical figuration, the right forearm and the belly have been modeled in negative and, in the head, the abdomen and the left leg, it incorporates total emptiness, also implanted with resounding efficiency in the body.
This is Gargallo's sculpture in which the formal synthesizing and the tendency towards the geometric are more evident, especially with regard to the flatness of the limbs and the body of the jubilant musician, who dances with extraordinary grace and manifests his unsurpassed joie de vivre.
In this piece, without still abandoning his solid concept of the human figure, but treating it in an absolutely innovative and synthetic way, Gargallo's work takes a fundamental step forward towards objectives, perhaps transcendental, that unfortunately he did not have time to achieve.
As a curiosity, there are two copies in cast iron, with three strings on the lyre, because the first David originally had them, in wrought iron, used as a model. But then Gargallo himself decided to remove said strings from the original model.
To model the female nudes that he made during the last two years of his life, Gargallo had the collaboration of a model of Nordic origin. This explains why the general anatomical features, the body structure, the most immediate material aspect of the bodies are less expressive or opulent, less sensual and ultimately less Mediterranean than in other previous nudes, which could not be completely evaded from the reality of the body of its model.
Other works on display