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    Sale 7701

    Impressionist/Modern Art, Evening Sale

    4 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 39

    Julio González (1876-1942)

    Le rêve (Le baiser)

    Price Realised  


    Julio González (1876-1942)
    Le rêve (Le baiser)
    signed, numbered and stamped with the foundry mark 'J. Gonzalez c 4/6 E. Godard Fondr' (where the sculpture meets the base)
    bronze with brown patina
    Height (without base): 24 3/8 in. (62 cm.)
    Conceived circa 1934 and cast in bronze at a later date in a numbered edition of six plus four further casts marked 0, 00, EA and HC

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    Le Rêve (Le baiser) is a totemic free-standing figure sculpture that belongs to the most productive and important period of González's career. Executed in the early 1930s shortly after the artist's inspirational and ground-breaking collaboration with Picasso and the creation of his first masks and heads, Le Rêve (Le baiser) is one of the first of González's full-length figure sculptures to express the full sense of spatial freedom that his revolutionary constructive approach to sculpture allowed.

    González called the new technique that his collaboration with Picasso had enabled him to discover, 'drawing in space'. The constructive process of making sculpture from welded iron plus the use of an essentially Cubist aesthetic which easily adapted itself to the three-dimensional concerns of the sculptor, resulted, for González in a way of sculpting that actively employed space as an essential and integral part of the work. 'In traditional sculpture a leg is formed out of a single block,' González had observed, 'but in sculpture using SPACE as MATERIAL, this same leg may be conceived of as SCOOPED OUT, designated by a single STROKE in a whole that likewise forms a single block. Traditional sculpture has a horror of holes and empty spaces. This new kind of sculpture uses them to their fullest potential, considering them an INDISPENSABLE material now' (Julio González 'Notes on Sculpture' reproduced in Picasso and the Age of Iron, ex. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1993. p.283).

    A bronze casting of the original iron now housed along with many other works from Gonzalez's estate in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris Le Rêve (Le baiser) is distinguishable from González's earlier masks and heads by its complete celebration of open form - a characteristic that reveals the artist reveling in the new-found freedom that his welded iron technique of assemblage allowed. This freedom is asserted in the figure's complete rejection of symmetry. Each separate element of the sculpture maintains its independence from the others as well as something of its original identity from its previous life. These autonomous elements are exquisitely combined to create a totemic figure of a woman with wind-blown hair. In addition, the centre of her figure is an elaboration on the theme of González's mask-heads that seems also to depict a double-head image.

    Roberta González recalled that for many years González referred to this sculpture as both 'the dream' and 'the kiss'. She added her own interpretation that the sculpture can be considered as either the actual kiss or the woman's dream-memory of her absent lover. With its strongly phallic cone penetrating an open bowl at the heart of the woman's body, the sculpture seems to suggest something more than a kiss. In many ways the work seems to evoke the same sense of tormented eroticism as is found in a lot of Oceanic sculpture and the Oceanic-inspired sculptural figures of Picasso's paintings from the beach at Dinard.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Galleria Pieter Coray, Lugano.
    Private collection, Lausanne.
    Acquired by the present owner in 2004.

    Pre-Lot Text



    D. Dudley, 'Four Post-Moderns, Alicka, Benno, Bores et González', in The American Magazine of Art, Washington, September 1935, vol. 28, no. 9 (another cast illustrated p. 547).
    P.-G. Brugière, 'Julio González, les étapes de l'oeuvre', in Cahiers d'Art, Paris, July 1952, vol. XXVII, pp. 20 and 22.
    P. Guéguen, 'Idée générales sur la sculpture', in Art d'Aujourd'hui, Paris, 1954 (another cast illustrated p. 40).
    L. Degand, González, Cologne and Berlin, 1956 (another cast illustrated fig. 14).
    R. González, 'Julio González, My Father', in Arts, New York, February 1956, vol. 30, no. 5, p. 24.
    A.C. Ritchie, 'Julio González', in The Museum of Modern Art Bulletin, New York, 1956, vol. XXIII, no. 1-2, pp. 7 and 46 (another cast illustrated p. 16).
    W. Hofmann, Die Plastik des 20. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt, 1958, no. 28.
    M. Seuphor, La Sculpture de ce siècle, Neuchâtel, 1959, p. 77. J. Grenier, 'Les expositions à Paris', in XXe siècle, Paris, 1959, no. 1 (another cast illustrated).
    V.A. Cerni, Julio González, Rome, 1962, p. 106 (another cast illustrated pl. XLIX).
    L. Degand, González, Berlin, 1965, no. 14 (another cast illustrated).
    C.A. Aréan & R. González, Julio González, Madrid, 1965 (another cast illustrated).
    C.A. Aréan, 'Los tres González - Joan, Julio, Roberta', in Cuadernos de Arte, Madrid, 1968, vol. 247 (another cast illustrated).
    G. Fehrlin, 'Eisenplastiken von Julio González', in Die Welt, Berlin, 1970 (another cast illustrated).
    H. Galy-Carles, 'González, l'homme du fer', in Art vivant, Paris, 1970, no. 9 (another cast illustrated).
    E. Lucie-Smith, 'Geniucraftsmen', in Sunday Times, London, 1970 (another cast illustrated).
    J. Withers, 'Julio González', in Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1970 (another cast illustrated p. 37).
    J. Withers, 'Los materiales y la técnica', in Guadalimar, Madrid, 1976, no. 16 (another cast illustrated p. 37).
    P. Descargues, Julio González, Paris, 1971, p. 31 (another cast illustrated fig. 13).
    V.A. Cerni, Julio, Joan, Roberta González, itinerario de una dinastía, Barcelona, 1973, no. 220, p. 386 (another cast illustrated p. 266).
    J. Withers, Julio González: Sculpture in Iron, New York, 1978, no. 54, p. 161 (another cast illustrated p. 55, fig. 40, dated '1932'). M. Fitzgerald, 'Julio González - in plain view', in Arts Magazine, New York, June 1983, pp. 102-104 (another cast illustrated fig. 4).
    A. Kirili, 'Virgins & Totems', in Art in America, New York, 1983 (another cast illustrated p. 159).
    W. Schnell, 'Zeichen als bidhauerisches Prinzip. Julio González 1876-1942', in Kunstforum International, Cologne, October 1983, vol. 66 (another cast illustrated p. 151).
    M. Rowell, 'Julio González', in La collection du Musée national d'Art moderne, vol. 1, Paris, 1986, pp. 253-254 (another cast illustrated p. 253).
    W. Schmalenbach, Bilder des 20. Jahrhunderts, Die Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, 1986 (another cast illustrated p. 247).
    C. Alborch Bataller, Julio González: las colecciones del IVAM, Madrid, 1989, pp. 11 and 48.
    T. Llorens, Julio González, las colecciones del IVAM, nuevos fondos, Valencia, 1993, p. 77.
    J. Merkert, Julio González, catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Milan, 1987, no. 154 (another cast illustrated p. 157-159).
    J. Merkert, Julio González, el inventor de la escultura en heirro, Valencia, 1994, p. 45.
    W. Schmalenbach, Kunst! Reden-Streiten-Schreiben, Cologne, 2000 (another cast illustrated p. 97).
    G. Solana, Julio González en la colección del IVAM, catalogue raisonné, Valencia, 2000, pp. 21, 136 and 140 (another cast illustrated p. 137).
    B. Leal, 'Julio González', in La collection du Centre Pompidou, Musée d'Art moderne, Paris, 2006, p. 281 (another cast illustrated p. 283).