The IVAM Collection exemplifies the varied nature of contemporary art with specific collections covering the periods of the most representative trend of twentieth-century art. Particular attention is given to the sculptor Julio González (Barcelona, 1876 – Paris, 1942), 394 of whose works are in the IVAM Collection (including sculptures, drawings, paintings and jewellery), derived from various acquisitions but principally from donation made by the artist’s heiresses, Carmen Martínez and Viviane Grimminger. The IVAM also possesses works by Joan González (Barcelona, 1868–1908), Julio’s brother, and by Roberta, Julio González’s daughter.
Julio González is considered the father of sculpture in iron. He created his personal style in an attempt to incorporate space and time into his work, and in so doing he changed the meaning of iron, endowing it with new constructive and expressive values.
His work made a definitive impact on the development of contemporary sculpture, and he is still the mirror in which we look and confront ourselves when we wish to find the most essential and complex dimension of aesthetic experience in its human and innovative aspect.
Julio González is an icon of contemporaneity. Consideration of the period in which he worked is virtually indispensable in order to understand what his thinking and creativity meant for the evolution of sculpture. His contribution to history is marked by a break with the past and by ideals that progressed beyond nineteenth-century Decadence, introducing new techniques of art that are still of great importance today.