ISMAEL DE LA SERNA

Spanish, 1898-1968 

Head and Guitar  , Oil on board, 1927, 32 1/8 x 25 5/8 inches

Head and Guitar, Oil on board, 1927, 32 1/8 x 25 5/8 inches

Le Matin  , Oil on canvas, c. 1930, 31 7/8 x 21 1/4 inches

Le Matin, Oil on canvas, c. 1930, 31 7/8 x 21 1/4 inches

Still Life with Guitar  , Oil on canvas, 1930, 31 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches

Still Life with Guitar, Oil on canvas, 1930, 31 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches

Ismael González "de la" Serna studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Granada, Spain. While at school he became close to the famous poet Federico Garcia Lorca, whose first book, Impresiones y Paisajes was illustrated by González. 

González style was considered a more “free” artistic style.  He moved to Paris, being a member of the avant garde group. He was influenced by the Cubist artists George Braque and fellow Spaniard, Pablo Picasso. It is claimed by the art critic Teriad, that Picasso declared “at last, a true painter! As grand as Juan Gris!” He exhibited widely in the 1920s with much success. A renowned Parisian art dealer, Paul Guillaume, of the Modigliani,  Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, organized for an exhibition of fifty of his works. This lead to him exhibiting in the Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris in 1936, the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition in 1937, Later an individual exhibition at the Gallery Flechtheim in Berlin, which was sold out. In his later years the 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. Later in his career, he became more of a Cubist painter. Form, color and affection were influenced by Cezanne & Pissarro. 

After a long battle with cerebral palsy, he became wheel chair bound, therefor from this point on he rarely ventured back home. The Museum of Modern Art in Paris held an exhibition in homage to this great artist.