(Paris, 1911 – Paris, 1977)
Born in Paris into a family of Italian shoemakers, Emile Gilioli was a leading figure in post-war abstract sculpture. He spent his childhood in Italy where he learned the art of blacksmithing before joining his father in Nice to train as a sculptor. In 1931 he entered the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Mobilised in 1939, he left to settle in Grenoble where he was strongly influenced by his various encounters which pushed him to break with academicism and move towards a simplification of forms. This break was confirmed when he returned to Paris in 1945. He then moved towards a non-figurative art alongside Vasarely, Brancusi, Deyrolle and Poliakoff. He participated in numerous artistic events in the Denise René, Louis Carré and Dina Vierny galleries, as well as in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Salon de Mai. He was also a founding member of the Salon de la Jeune Sculpture and vice-president of the Espace group with André Bloc, Fernand Léger and Le Corbusier.
Emile Gilioli was commissioned for numerous public works, including the National Monument to the Resistance on the Plateau des Glières (1973). His work focuses on the construction of pure lines through various materials such as bronze, granite, marble or steel. He also creates numerous collages, reliefs, tapestries, engravings, paintings, drawings, stained glass and mosaics. His sculptures rise in space like real architectures and express a strong spatial dynamic through their sober and pure silhouette, which is also found in his graphic work.
“Marked by spiritualist and purist tendencies of abstract art, […], Gilioli will nevertheless oscillate in his work between the rigour of the sign and the serene sensuality of forms where angle and curve marry.” Michel Ragon
128 x 149 cm