The Sculptural Form-Making Process of Julio Gonzalez

Tutor : Dr. Victoria Watson
Year : 2013


This paper begins by examining Pablo Picasso’s early sculptures as an artist and Julio Gonzalez’s metalwork as an artisan, preceding their seminal collaboration in 1928. Upon working together, Picasso’s abstract vision was represented and made possible through the direct-metal craft of Gonzalez’s who was trained as a metal smith. This collaboration subsequently gave birth to Gonzalez’s unprecedented method of making sculpture with metal, that unlike with Picasso’s metal assemblage, he ‘opened up’ sculpture by welding together long thin rods of metal. The contrast between Gonzalez’s work as Picasso’s collaborator and on the other hand, as his own artist and artisan are examined through Gonzalez’s ground-breaking solo works after their collaboration. Gonzalez does not use metal to represent an artistic idea (from a marquette or a sketch) but instead uses the primacy of the material to imagine and visualize immediately the idea.

In parallel with Gonzalez’s new method of “drawing in space,” this paper will shift from the practice of sculpture to architecture through architects Tonkin Liu and their Shell Lace technique, seen as an unconventional method of visualizing and realizing a concept in the paradigm of architecture. This paper will investigate the parallels between Tonkin Liu’s unconventional design process with Gonzalez’s new method of “drawing.” The architects consistently seek to represent their ideas throughout using a specific medium (paper, metal) at its essence with the mastery of a specific technique (tailoring, plasticine modelling). 1.jpg 2.jpg