Gargallo, Pablo

(Maella, Zaragoza, 1881 – Reus, Tarragona, 1934)

Pablo Gargallo is one of the leading Spanish avant-garde sculptors of the 20th century. Even though he was born in Maella (Zaragoza), in 1888 he and his family moved to Barcelona, where he later trained in the atelier of Eusebi Arnau and at La Llotja school, and he was a frequent participant in artistic circles, like the regular gathering of artists at Els Quatre Gats. In 1903, he took his maiden voyage to Paris, where he first saw Rodin’s work, which influenced his early works. Thereafter he primarily lived in Paris and Barcelona. He made his first metal sculpture, Small Mask with Lock of Hair, in new quarters in the City of Light in 1907. This paved the way for a new sculptural inquiry, which he always combined with another line more rooted in classicism. However, his most characteristic output is his works with metal sheeting (especially copper, but also iron and brass, along with others), which he used to create masks, heads and figures defined by structures with concave volumes enhanced by their dialogue with hollow or empty spaces. Gargallo also worked as a professor at the Arts and Crafts School of Barcelona between 1920 and 1923.