This elegant kneeling figure is characteristic of Spanish sculptor Baltasar Lobo’s sensual representation of the female body, which he would return to repeatedly throughout his career. In 1939 Lobo escaped...
This elegant kneeling figure is characteristic of Spanish sculptor Baltasar Lobo’s sensual representation of the female body, which he would return to repeatedly throughout his career. In 1939 Lobo escaped Franco’s Fascist regime and quickly found himself immersed in the Parisian avant-garde and the vibrant artistic community of Montparnasse. Establishing himself as a pivotal member of the School of Paris alongside Jacques Lipchitz and Julio González, Lobo forged particularly strong friendships with Picasso and Henri Laurens during this period, for whom he worked as an assistant.
Surrounded by the work of pivotal Modernist sculptors Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi and Joan Miró, Lobo used the contours of the female form as a significant means to explore abstraction. However, while Lobo teetered on the very edge of abstraction, he maintained a constant connection to the balance, form and femininity of naturalism. Lobo explained, “My current work is, as always, figurative; which is to say that it is abstract. It necessarily begins with figuration. Simplified and synthesized, it becomes abstraction. By simplifying this reality I distil its emotion, coming to feel and communicate it more directly.”
Working predominantly in marble and bronze Lobo devised contrasting variations on the female figure, ranging from assemblages of the mother and child from the 1940s and 50s, to his later seated and reclining nudes. With its gently undulating contours 'Jeune Fille’ demonstrates the unique rhythmic abstraction achieved by Lobo as he amended and refined the countless plaster models that filled his studio. As with much of his work in bronze, Lobo works the sculpture to the highest level of finish, allowing his flawless surface to complement the sense of the figure's smooth and supple skin.
Despite the political turmoil which defined his early career, Lobo’s deeply poetic sculptures earned him international recognition and critical acclaim. In 1943 Lobo exhibited alongside Picasso and Laurens, together with Henri Matisse and Fernand Léger, at the Galerie Vendôme, Paris and went on to be awarded the Spanish National Prize for Sculpture in 1984. His sculptures can be found in major international collections including the Centro d'Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Tokyo National Museum; Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg; National Gallery, Prague; State Gallery, Stuttgart and Fine Arts Museum, Bilbao.
Galería Theo, Valencia Private Collection (acquired from the above c.1975) Sotheby's, London, 25 June 2015, lot 457 (sold by the above) Private Collection (acquired at the above)
Madrid, Galeria Theo, 'Lobo', 1970
J.-E. Müller and V. Bollmann-Müller, Lobo: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpté, Lausanne, 1985, no.247 (another cast illus. and dated 1967-1968)
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Alejandro Freites of Galeria Freites and dated 4 November 2020, stating that the work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne of sculptures under no.6810