Pablo Gargallo


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Spanish sculptor. He was born at Maella, near Catalonia, and trained at the Barcelona Academy. In 1903 he won a scholarship to Paris, but because of the death of his father he soon had to return home to support his family. However, he went back to Paris in 1911, remaining there until 1914, and during this period he started experimenting with Cubism. Building on the Spanish tradition of fine metalcraft, he began to compose masks from thin sheets of iron and copper, hammered, twisted, cut, and fitted together. He was one of the first sculptors to transpose convex and concave surfaces, and also, in his later work (which included full-length figures), one of the first to give positive significance to enclosed space. In 1914–24 he lived in Barcelona, then returned to Paris, and during the last decade of his life achieved recognition as one of the most inventive of modern sculptors in metal. His style in this period became freer and more expressive but more conventionally figurative than the technically similar metal sculpture of Picasso and González. Prophet (1931, Pompidou Centre), life-size, imposing, and somewhat rhetorical, is his best-known work. He also made more conventional classicizing works for public spaces, including statues for the stadium in Barcelona constructed for the 1929 World's Fair, now known as the Olympic Stadium.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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