1910 - 1993
Signed on the base 'Lobo'
White Carrara marble on black marble base
8 7/8 x 8 1/8 x 5 1/8 in, 22.5 x 20.5 x 13 cm
Height with base 13 3/4 in, 35 cm
Baltasar Lobo was part of the lively group of international artists that flocked to Paris at the outbreak of the Second World War. Having fled Franco’s Spain in 1939, when...
Baltasar Lobo was part of the lively group of international artists that flocked to Paris at the outbreak of the Second World War. Having fled Franco’s Spain in 1939, when his studio and most of his work were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, Lobo quickly found a place in Montparnasse amongst the community of avant-garde artists including Jacques Lipchitz, Pablo Picasso and Henri Laurens, for whom he worked as a studio assistant. A pivotal member of this rebellious group, Lobo was particularly recognised for his lithe sculptures of the female figure, which he returned to throughout his career.
This elegant sculpture titled ‘Colombe’ (meaning dove) reveals Lobo’s departure from figuration towards a daring abstract style. The curves of the bird’s body and wings are reduced to a simple, voluptuous form that is both ambiguous and highly evocative. Much like Jean Arp, Brancusi and Miró, Lobo used the frame of the human figure and animals to push the boundaries of abstraction. In this example, Lobo embraces the pure white surface of the marble to complement the supple form of the bird.
Following the Second World War, the subject of the dove was itself riddled with meaning. For Picasso, his energetic drawing of a dove had become emblematic of the Communist Party and was used to illustrate the poster for the 1949 Paris Peace Congress. Matisse was also fascinated by birds and famously purchased caged doves from the merchants on the banks of the river Seine to fill the cut-outs of his final years. In this case, the dove is the means for Lobo to explore a new vibrant abstract language.
‘Colombe’ was first acquired from the artist by Doctor Sanson, a French neuropsychiatrist that forged a pivotal collection of Modern Art through his friendship with Reynold Arnould – the curator of the newly built Musée d’art moderne André Malraux in 1951. Through Arnould, Doctor Sanson was exposed to the extraordinary School of Paris artists that were living in Montparnasse after the Second World War and began to collect their work with enthusiasm.
Lobo was the subject of more than fifty solo exhibitions during his lifetime, the first of which was in 1960 in the same year that the present sculpture was made. In 1984 Lobo was awarded the Spanish National Prize for Sculpture and today his work can be found in public collections around the world including Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Centro d’Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and Tokyo National Museum. In 1998 a museum dedicated to his life’s work opened in Zamora, Spain.
Collection of Dr Sanson, France
Paris, Galerie Villand & Galanis, Lobo Sculptures, 1962, no.23
This work will be included in the
forthcoming Catalogue raisonné of sculptures by Baltasar Lobo currently
being prepared by Galería Freites under archive no.6201 and is accompanied
by a certificate of authenticity signed by Alejandro Freites and dated 1
December 2017. A copy of this certificate of authenticity is recorded in the
files of Galería Freites under no.17.053
J.-E. Muller & V. Bollmann-Müller, Lobo, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpté, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1985, illus. no.183