Description

    Xavier Gonzalez (1898-1993)
    Refranes, 1982
    Oil on linen
    35 x 50in.
    Signed lower left of center: X.G.
    Signed and titled verso: Xavier Gonzalez & Ethel Edwards 35 x 50

    Gonzalez' art changed with the times. From his early days as an Impressionist (1920s), to his days as a Regionalist (1930s), to his days as a Surrealist (1940s), to his days as an Abstract Expressionist (1950s) his art evolved. As his life was nearing an end, Gonzalez (as is often the case with artists) revisited prior themes and styles.

    This canvas revisits both Gonzalez' roots as a Regionalist and Surrealist. The figure in the upper left, kneeling and holding up an outstretched palm surely represents the incident in San Antonio where his WPA mural was destroyed because of the supposed inclusion of Communist worker symbols of the skyward palm and clenched fist. The Spanish-style house at the right would seem to represent Gonzalez' roots from Almeria, Spain, or his boyhood days in Mexico. The candle burning brightly in the center has little time left. Even so, the flame is in danger of being extinguished somewhat prematurely by the black hooded figure ringing the bell, waving the censure of incense, and knocking over the glass of water. To the left is another glass of water. It asks the question, "Is the glass half full or half empty?" Gonzalez died of leukemia in 1993 at the age of 95, and otherwise might have lived several years longer.

    The title Refranes is a Spanish word very similar to the English word refrain. This play on words is appropriate because Gonzalez lived in both English and Spanish cultures, and either word is an appropriate title for the piece.


    Condition Report*:

    Excellent condition with some minor surface scratches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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