As a student from Aragon at the Academy of Art in Barcelona, Pablo Gargallo frequented the celebrated café Els Quatre Gats, when he met Pablo Picasso and Julio González, friendships which shaped his innovative career as a sculptor. Working within the the Spanish tradition of decorative metalwork, Gargallo began to experiment with copper, iron and sheet metal early in his career. By the mid-1920s he moved away from a volumetric conception of sculpture indebted to Rodin and Maillol to a more inventive and whimsical approach which had as its most notable antecedents the great assemblages and constructions which Picasso made before and during World War I.
Gargallo formed his sculptures by cutting, hammering, twisting and soldering pieces of metal. He juxtaposed convex, concave and flat planes with imagination and skill; as in the present sculpture, he was among the first to give positive form to the enclosed space within a sculpture. "Gargallo often seems a super-caricaturist in bronze, endowed with a strong instinct for subtle decoration." (M. Morsell, Art News, New York, March 3, 1934)
Gargallo considered his Petite Danseuse to be especially successful; between 1924 and 1927 he made no fewer than three other versions of this subject, and in 1929 he made two enlarged versions.
A photo-certificate from Pierrette Gargallo Anguera dated September 23, 1996 accompanies this sculpture, which will be included in the supplement to her Gargallo catalogue raisonné.