Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d’Automne, Rétrospective Pablo Gargallo, 1935;
Venice, 28th Venice Biennale, Spanish Pavilion, 1956;
Tokyo and Osaka, Contemporary Sculpture Centre, La musique et la danse, 1979;
New York, Arnold Herstand & Co., Pablo Gargallo. Sculpture, 1987;
Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris 1937. L’art indépendant, 1987.

Gargallo. La nueva edad de los metals, exh. cat., Madrid 1991, cat. no. 71, reproduced on p. 171;
P. Gargallo-Anguera, Pablo Gargallo. Catalogue raisonné, Les éditions de l’amateur, Paris 1996, p. 194, cat. no. 188;
M. Dolores Jiménez-Blanco & R. Ordóñez Fernández, Pablo Gargallo, exh. cat., Valencia 2004, reproduced on p. 291.

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Pablo Gargallo is regarded as one of the most important Spanish sculptors of the early 20th century along with Julio González. Born in Maella, Aragon, he moved with his family to Barcelona in 1888, where he joined the group of artists that met at the famous Quatre Gats tavern, which included Pablo Picasso and Isidre Nonell. He was a student of the Catalan sculptor Eusebi Arnau. In 1903 he spent six months in Paris with a scholarship and returned to Paris in 1911 where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani and Juan Gris. It was in Paris that Gargallo’s style evolved into a sculpture based on the creation of three-dimensional pieces using flat metal plates. Building upon the Spanish traditions of fine metal craft, he began to compose masks from thin sheets of iron and copper, hammered, twisted, cut and fitted together, evolving a new mode of plastic expression which had considerable and growing influence in expanding the sculptural idiom of later decades. He was one of the first artists to practice the transposition of convex into concave surfaces and he was also, in his later work, one of the first to give positive significance to enclosed space in a sculptural work. His work is characterised by a mixture of classicism and experimentation, integrating the innovations of Cubism and playing with volume and void. Pablo Gargallo learned to work with iron at the Escola de la Llotja (Barcelona Arts and Crafts School) and developed most of his work in copper, iron and lead. He also probably learned from ironworking artisans during his involvement in major Art Nouveau projects such as the construction of the Palau de la Música Catalana or the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona.

In his David of 1934, one can see Gargallo’s tendency towards geometrical forms in the flatness of the limbs and the rest of the body of the jubilant, noticeably lively musician. Though geometrical, the sculpture has a rhythmic movement in the curves of its arms and legs. It was created in the year of Gargallo’s death, signalling a new approach to sculpture, without abandoning his solid concept of the human figure, but treating it in an absolutely innovative and synthetic way. Overall, there is an edition of 7 numbered copies, 3 numbered artist’s proofs (finished), one copy in the Musée d’Art Moderne de Dijon, one foundry proof, 1 copy HC 1/1 for exhibitions and one copy at the Museo Pablo Gargallo in Zaragoza, all of them missing the strings on the lyre. The specimen 4/7 belongs to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. There are another two specimens in cast iron with strings on the lyre because the lyre of the first version of David, in wrought iron, used as a model, had them. However, Gargallo decided later to remove these strings from the model, which is why they are missing from this or later editions.