Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



This essay analyzes a sampling of Xavier Gonzalez’s paintings and murals, and examines the connections between Gonzalez and Pablo Picasso through journals and notes by Gonzalez himself. Gonzalez’s career as an artist spanned decades, during which he explored many different types of media. His watercolors draw upon a Cubist legacy and integrate geometric elements within his realist subject matter. Gonzalez’s murals for the New Orleans Lakefront Airport feature sweeping scenes of flight that capture the modern experience. The murals represent the apex of Gonzalez’s career as an artist working in public spaces, though they later faded into oblivion as the airport lost its luster. Gonzalez’s later paintings from the 1940s and 1950s engage emotionalism and humanism, and operate on multiple levels of meaning. From Gonzalez’s own notes, one can gain insight into how the influences and observations of Pablo Picasso aided him to define his work and his approach to art in general. Both natives of Spain, Picasso and Gonzalez shared an aversion to reading about or critiquing art. Instead, Gonzalez relied on his observations of other artists, such as Picasso and his wife Ethel Edwards. In lieu of a definitive biography or catalogue raisonné of Gonzalez’s art yet to be written, this essay should serve as starting point for further Gonzalez research to be undertaken in the future.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Darius A. Spieth