1935 -1936

Medium : Iron, cast, welded

Dimensions : 86 x 37 x 20 cm

“Femme Assise II” (“Seated Woman II”) is an iron sculpture executed by Julio González around 1935-1936 in forged and soldered sheet metal.  It is one of three “Seated Women” he created during this timeframe.

It depicts the highly abstracted silhouette of a seated female figure.  The lower body, rendered as geometric cubes, is juxtaposed with an elongated vertical element representing the upper body, which gracefully curves upwards and rotates, as though the torso was twisting away from the hips.  Certain details recall observed reality, for example, the short, diagonal rods attached to side of the upper part of the sculpture, which represent the figure’s hair.

Around 1935, Julio González was pursuing several different types of sculpture:

  • aerial linear iron works on the threshold of abstraction, like the “Maternity” featured last week,
  • dense, recumbent heads, grossly carved in stone
  • abstracted geometric iron works that juxtapose the ethereal and volumetric qualities of the previous two types.

“Seated Woman II” falls into the last category, with its dense, volumetric lower portion juxtaposed with the slender, ascending upper body.

The theme of the seated woman is a constant in González’s work, both in painting and sculpture.  An early example is “Seated Woman” from 1918 in repoussé (hammered out) silver.  This compact, figurative early work, focused on the sinuous, round contours of the female body, contrasts with “Seated Woman II”’s abstracted, rectilinear forms which incorporate both density and lightness, curves and straight lines, imbued with a sense of movement.  “Seated Woman II” speaks to González’s remarkable evolution over the course of his career, as well as the variety and inventiveness of his revolutionary sculpture.

“Seated Woman II” is housed in the Centre Pompidou Musée national d’Art moderne’s collection.