José María Yturralde: Constelaciones


La Florida, May 20, 2021

Press Release

The Galería Javier López & Fer Francés is delighted to present the latest works by José María Yturralde (b. Cuenca, 1942) in a new exhibition that the artist has conceived specially for our space in La Florida. In this project, the recent winner of the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas (National Award for Visual Arts) seeks to unite, in his own words, "mythology, archaeo-astronomy, magic and symbolism, reflecting on current ideas about space, time, energy, matter, thus endowing them with soul and meaning". The titles of the works that make up these Constellations refer to both stars and gods from different religions and cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Japanese, Arab), linking the perception of celestial phenomena with their relationship to the cycles of nature and mystical beliefs.

Since ancient times, both Eastern and Western civilisations have traced in their imagination groupings of the stars that have served as ways for them to measure time and the seasons, as well as to orient themselves on journeys and to explain events through the invention of mythological narratives. On this occasion, Yturralde has been inspired by these figures in the heavens and their cyclical movements to put together a harmonious ensemble, a constellation of paintings that takes his research into geometric shapes and colour-light further.

Starting with the series Enso, his interest in the symbolism and transcendence of the circle has developed. In Zen Buddhism it evokes the universe, emptiness and infinity, while for other cultures it is associated with the concept of perfection and the sacred, of the beginning and the end. The titles in the current exhibition invoke stars and celestial spheres, like some of those in Horizons, where he reflected on the sublime and contemplation. And while previous compositions embraced Eclipses and Twilights, his new works also include Abysses exploring the curved line. These spaces of meditation have the conciseness of expression and emotional intensity of a haiku, forming poetic dialogues with time, space and emptiness.

The jury of the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas recognised “his career, with its high level of experimentalism, connecting art and science, the outstanding quality of his research work on space and form, and his teaching work in the field of research into both mathematical and artistic parameters”. His work forms part of important collections at many Spanish institutions: the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Abstracto de Cuenca, IVAM and the Fundación Chirivella Soriano in Valencia, CAB in Burgos, the Museo Patio Herreriano in Valladolid, CAAC in Seville, Es Baluard and the Fundación Miró Mallorca. His works are also held by collections in the United States, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Russia, France, Belgium, and Poland.

Important recent projects have included a comprehensive retrospective at CEART Fuenlabrada (Madrid): Cosmos caos. Obras [1966 – 2019], the permanent installation Estructura volante. Homenaje a Velázquez (Flying Structure: Homage to Velázquez, 1977) as part of the collection at the Museu Fundación Juan March in Palma; and the display of his monumental Hathor (9 x 9 m) on the façade of IVAM. He is also currently participating in the group exhibition Imaginarios mecánicos y técnicos en la Colección del IVAM (Mechanical and technical imaginaries in the IVAM Collection), which is on show at the museum in Valencia until October.

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José María Yturralde: Constelaciones

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