“My present work is, as always, figurative; that is to say, abstract. Obligatorily it begins with figuration and becomes an abstraction which is simplified, synthesized."* - Baltasar Lobo
Baltasar Lobo’s greatest legacy to modern sculpture is his lifelong dedication to and re-interpretation of a classic art-historical theme: the female form. Throughout his career, Lobo focused almost exclusively on the single figure of a woman as his subject, all the while exploring the varied nature of womanhood by experimenting with a range of gestures and poses. He sought to depict feminine sensuality through simplicity of form, eschewing a naturalistic imitation of the female figure in favor of an increasingly stylized yet dynamic treatment. Lobo continually experimented with this relationship between figuration and abstraction, for he believed that the true essence of femininity was achieved by a perfect balance between the two. Freeman's is pleased to offer Lobo's alluring “Femme Assise Main Croisées Grande Taille” in our December 6 auction of Modern & Contemporary Art.
Lobo was heavily influenced by fellow members of the Paris art scene who inhabited Montmartre and Montparnasse in the 40s and 50s. Indeed, one can identify specific modernist elements echoed in Lobo’s sculptures, such as Leger’s characteristic three-dimensional geometric figures, Arp’s organic biomorphic shapes and the clean and balanced precision of Brancusi’s abstract forms. Lobo also drew inspiration from ancient art which he would study during his visits to Madrid’s archaeological museum in the 1930s. He was particularly affected by Early Cycladic sculpture and its elegant yet stylized representation of the female form. These marble figures- suggested by some to be idols used in a religious or funerary context- were typically rendered nude with gently sloping shoulders, folded arms, and prominent feminine curves, their facial features undefined besides an angular, aquiline nose. Lobo assimilated these features into his own oeuvre such that they eventually became defining characteristics of his timeless, abstract style, of which Femme Assise Mains Croisées Grande Taille is an outstanding example.
*Baltasar Lobo, as quoted in María Bolaños, Baltasar Lobo. 1910/1993. El silencio delescultor, (Leon: Junta de Castilla y Leon, 2000, p.151).