Loló Soldevilla (Cuban 1901-1971)
Loló Soldevilla (Cuban 1901-1971)

Untitled

Details
Loló Soldevilla (Cuban 1901-1971)
Untitled
signed and dated 'LOLÓ, 54' (under the base)
painted wood with metal rods on painted wooden base
16½ x 7¾ x 5 7/8 in. (42 x 19.7 x 15 cm.) including base
Executed in 1954.
Provenance
Private collection, Havana, Cuba.
Private collection, Miami.
Acquired from the above.

Brought to you by

Virgilio Garza
Virgilio Garza

Lot Essay

This work is sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Martha Flora Carranza and dated 2 February 2012.


On January 5, 1953, Dolores (Loló) Soldevilla wrote in her personal diary in Paris, "After discussing until dawn with Wifredo Lam, he does not like my paintings. He likes my sculptures. He says that he is not interested in Abstract painting."[1] Soldevilla had started painting around 1948, after participating in a trip sponsored by the American Federation of Art to museums in Boston, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, and encouraged by a deep friendship with Lam. Later, while she remained known as a painter, the heart and soul of the 10 Pintores Concretos group in Cuba and founder of the Galería Color-Luz, her sculptures came to be viewed as paramount within her body of work for the degree of research and experimentation they displayed. In 1959, Michel Seuphor cited Soldevilla as one of the most relevant sculptors of the Paris school in his groundbreaking book, The Sculpture of This Century.

Like many other Cuban artists of her generation, Loló traveled back and forth between Havana and Paris during the 1950s, building an active dialogue that espoused an interest in geometric abstraction. Her first solo show in Havana at El Lyceum in 1950 exclusively featured sculptures made of a varied range of materials. Stylistically, these works were influenced by Loló's experience of joining the Parisian ateliers of prestigious sculptors like Leopold Kertz and Ossip Zadnike. While in Paris, where she served as cultural attaché of the Cuban Embassy in Europe, Loló also took art classes at La Grande Chaumiére and joined the Edgar Pillet and Jean Dewasne studios. She organized the 1951 exhibition Art Cubain Contemporain, featuring some of the most relevant Vanguardia artists (including five of her own sculptural works), at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, while from 1951 to 1955 she presented at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. Loló's years in Paris were very creative and active: she met and collaborated with artists such as Victor Vasarely, Jean Arp, and Eugenio Sempere, as well as the Venezuelans Aimée Batistini, Omar Carreño, Alejandro Otero, and Victor Valera, among others. Back in Havana in 1956, Soldevilla prepared and sponsored the exhibition Pintura de hoy: Vanguardia de la Escuela de París at the National Museum, a landmark show that further encouraged Cuban artists to explore the potential of abstraction.

Executed in Paris, Untitled (1954) is a simple and harmonious stabile construction made of metal and wood. The wooden blocks represent two basic geometrical forms paired with opposing colors, black squares and white circles, and are positioned to move centripetally around the two metal vertical axes. The varied possibilities of movement charge the sculpture with an intrinsic ludic capacity that allows viewers to generate different compositions while they organize and reorganize the components. Like an endlessly evolving game of tic-tac-toe, the central axis can be filled with black squares one moment then recreated with a mixture of white circles the next. As a result, the sculpture is infused with a dynamic malleability capable of producing modules that combine form and color.

Rafael DiazCasas, independent curator and art historian

1) Loló Soldevilla's personal diaries, 1953. Private collection, New York. Unpublished.
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