Fundación MAPFRE analyzes the joint work of Julio González and Pablo Picasso in an exhibition of more than 170 works


MAPFRE Foundation presented this Wednesday, September 21, the exhibitions “Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture” and ‘Ilse Bing’ which can be visited from September 23 to January 8 at the Sala Recoletos, in Madrid.

As the foundation explains in a press release, the exhibition “Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture” presents more than 170 works including paintings, sculptures and drawings, through which the joint work of the two artists is analyzed.

The exhibition, divided into eight sections, It begins with Head of a Bull, made by Picasso just a week after the death of Julio González as a tribute to his friend and his work.

The exhibition project delves into the common work of these two artists who collaborated to create Guillaume Apollinaire’s funerary monument. Between them, they create eleven sculptures including seven small sketches in fifteen or twenty sessions over four years.

From the foundation they explain that “allows us to better understand this relationship since it studies this episode taking into account the artistic trajectories of the two artistsas well as the context in which a new type of sculpture is developing which tends towards transparency in the Paris of the 1920s”.

In addition, the exhibition is a tribute to Tomàs Llorens, since it is the last major project of this art historian, who died in 2021. Organized with his son Boye, the project culminates a line of research to which he devoted a central part of his work.

As Tomàs Llorens pointed out, “when studied closely, it becomes clear that the works resulting from the collaboration between Picasso and González responded to the impulses of the time in which they were created“.


The artistic trajectories of Picasso and González were quite different, although culturally close. Friends from an early age, the two lived in modernist Barcelona at the start of the 20th century, worked in Paris for the first three decades and maintained a bond that would not be severed until González’s death in 1942.

Their artistic collaboration is studied in this exhibition taking into account this formation and common concerns, as well as the impact it left on their respective individual works. In the case of Gonzalez, this joint work made him realize that the metal material and techniques he mastered could be put to use in the creation of a true modern art; in that of Picasso, learn the possibilities of forge work and iron welding.

Julio González, Pablo Picasso and the dematerialization of sculpture is organized by the Fundación MAPFRE with the collaboration of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, the Spanish National Commission for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and the Administration González. The exhibition is part of the official program of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, which has Telefónica as a collaborating company in Spain.

For its part, the exhibition “Ilse Bing” is composed of 190 photographs of Ilse Bing, born in 1899 in Frankfurt into a wealthy Jewish family who, in 1930, after discovering her vocation for photography, moved to Paris. , where she combines her dedication to photojournalism with personal work, becoming in a short time one of the main exponents of innovative trends in photography.


Faced with the advance of Nazism, in 1941, she went into exile in New York with her husband, the pianist Konrad Wolff. Two decades later, at the age of 60, she abandoned her work as a photographer and directed her creativity towards the plastic arts and poetry until her death in 1998.

As the curator of the exhibition, Juan Vicente Aliaga, points out, “the position in which Bing is placed escapes any strict norm or visual orthodoxy“. “In this sense, we can say that we are faced with a very singular view and conception of photography in which modernity and formal innovation go hand in hand with a humanist spirit in which a social conscience is nestled”.

The exhibition is organized around ten sections: “Discovering the world through a camera: the beginnings”, “The life of still lifes”, “The danced body and its circumstances”, “Lights and shadows of ‘Modern Architecture’, ‘The Bustle of the Streets: The French Years’, ‘The Seduction of Fashion’, ‘America in Two Stages’, ‘Self-Image Revelations’, ‘Time Portrait’ and “Nature Live”, which They make a chronological and thematic tour of the career artist.

The ‘Ilse Bing’ exhibition has loans from different collections and institutions: Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, New York; International Center of Photography, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Berinson Gallery, Berlin; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington D. CThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Carnavalet Museum, Paris, or the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum, among others.

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