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Ismael de la Serna
"Portal View-Sailboats in Harbour", 20th C. Oil on Masonite by Ism. de la Serna

Circa 1950

$14,207.58

About

ISMAEL GONZÁLEZ DE LA SERNA Spanish, 1898 - 1968 "PORTAL VIEW - SAILBOATS IN HARBOUR" unsigned oil on masonite 25-1/4 x 22-1/2 inches (64 x 57 cm.) framed: 33 x 30 inches (83,5 x 76 cm.) PROVENANCE Spanish Private Collector Ismael de la Serna was born on June 6, 1898 in Guadalix, Granada, Spain. A year later he moved to Granada, a city in which the artist will spend his chilhood and adolescence. He attended primary school with Federico Garcia Lorca, his childhood friend (a friendship that will continue until the death of the poet). Between 1917 and 1921 resides in Granada where he frequents the Academy of Fine Arts. This year, in 1921, arrives to París, returning to Sapin on a few occasions before the civil war. Gradually, he became into contact with the "Avant-gard" and joined what would later be called de París School, but the situation was not easy and until 1927 he was going through a period of great economic difficulties. H lives in a hotel on Vavin Street, in the center of Montparnasse where he frequents the cafés of the Rotonde and the Dôme. In the French capital he will meet Juan Gris, Julio Gonzalez, Soutine, Kisling and Picasso, who was his great friend and protector. In fact, these are the words that Picasso addresses to Ismael de la Serna when he sees some canvases by the artist from Granada: " ... here is finally a painter, a real one, as big as Juan Gris ...". Picasso, the publisher Tériade, and the poet, dealer and animator of the magazine Cahiers d' Art, Christian Zervos, praised his works in the first exhibition presented in París. Tériade, himself, dedicates a study to him within the series "New Painters" that had begun to write in the magazine Cahiers d' Art. Ismael de la Serna continues its acitivity and those years of the late 20s and early 30s are a stage of great splendor: criticism, sales, the protection of dealers and collector, the very high prices of their canvases. This rare work by Ismael de la Serna, oil on cardboard, large size, depicting an Arlequin thoughfully seated with his dog by his side, recalls the original black and white photo (attached) of the artist Ismael de la Serna seated with his dog next to him. EXHIBITION 1974 Anthological exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of the Villa de París, from March 13th to 18th 1963 Exhibition at the Hammer Gallery in New York. 1932 Exhibition in the Botanical Garden of Madrid organized by the Society of Iberian Artists. 1930 Exhibition in the Zak Gallery. Exhibition at the National Gallery of Berlin. 1928 Exhibition at the Galerie Le Cantauro in Brussels. Galerie Zak, París. 1927 Exhibition at the Galerie Flechteim, Berlin. Exhibition at the Artistic Centre of Granada Exhibition organized by Paul Guillaume comprising 50 oils on canvas and cardboard by the artist 1918 Exhibition in Granada, Spain Exhibition at the Madrid Athenaeum

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About the Artist

Ismael de la Serna

Born in Spain, Ismael González "de la" Serna studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Granada, Spain. While at school, González befriended the famous poet Federico Garcia Lorca, whose first book, Impresiones y Paisajes, was illustrated by González. This friendship proved to be crucial in navigating the direction of his work. After visiting the French Impressionists exhibition in Madrid in 1917, González became more focused on developing a “free” artistic style. This exhibition founded his notions of color and line and remained a consistent narrative throughout his oeuvre. In 1921, he moved to Paris, rarely returning to Spain. In Paris, he was a member of the avant-garde group Spanish School of Paris. During this period, he was influenced by the Cubist artists George Braque and fellow Spaniard Pablo Picasso. It is claimed by the art critic Tériade that Picasso declared, “At last, a true painter! As grand as Juan Gris!” González exhibited widely in the 1920s with much success. Paul Guillaume — a renowned Parisian art dealer of the Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse — organized for an exhibition of 50 of his works. This led to him exhibiting in the Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris in 1936; the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition in 1937; and later, an individual exhibition at the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin, which was sold out. In González’s later years, there was a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts in Mexico in 1956, which was soon followed by another retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London in 1963. In 1964, he became wheelchair-bound after a long battle with cerebral palsy. From this point on, González very rarely ventured out of his home. After his death, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris held a retrospective exhibition in homage to this great artist. Initially, González experimented with neoclassic forms, later moving to a more Cubist style. Although a Cubist painter, González’s paintings were unique, as they revealed an affection for color influenced by the French Impressionists such as Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. In the 1950s, he drifted away from commercial conventions to search for “the essence and the ultimate goal of painting.” He reduced an image to its bare essence, a mere outline in which form approached the postulate of Abstraction. (Biography provided by Stern Pissarro Gallery)
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