Émile Gilioli


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French sculptor. Born in Paris, he spent his childhood in Italy in the care of his grandmother. He worked as a blacksmith and then trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nice. After the war he became associated with the abstract artists who exhibited at the Denise René Gallery in Paris. He worked in both highly polished bronze and different coloured stones. According to Jerome Mellquist, in an exhibition of 1958 these ‘varied from turquoise blue to the gleaming white of Carrara and the yellow of Siena’. Although Gilioli used flat planes and geometric forms, Mellquist maintains that his work ‘contained an element of the unexpected’. He combined his practice of small-scale sculpture with monumental work. One was the monument to the Maquis in Glières, Haute-Savoie, a dramatic Alpine setting which was the site of a battle between the Resistance and the Nazi occupying forces. Although the treatment is abstract, the artist intended a symbolic element combining movement towards victory and liberty against a wound-like counterthrust.

Further Reading

J. Mellquist, entry on the artist in R Maillard (ed.), A Dictionary of Modern Sculpture (1962)

Subjects: Art.

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