GEOMETRICAL ORDER FOR A VISUAL ANARCHY: YTURRALDE AT THE CEART

The CEART of Fuenlabrada opens today the exhibition "Yturralde cosmos chaos (obras 1966-2019)" curated by Alfonso de la Torre, which can be visited until October 27th. Yturralde's long career has allowed him to travel through different artistic movements in a manner consistent with his creative impulses and artistic concerns, although never forgetting eclecticism and the fusion of techniques that have always characterised his work.

In his beginnings, focused on the study of geometric abstraction, Yturralde was part of the group “Before Art”. This collective, founded in Valencia at the end of the 60s proposed an approach to art devoid of any subjectivity or feeling. Their proposals resulted in works of scientific basis, with a claim of objectivity, in which there was little room for the artist's interpretations. What is there before art, as an absolute approach? This group had an unquestionable impact within the development of geometric abstraction in our country, following the trail of this movement initiated worldwide during the interwar period.

Figura imposible. 1972

These first steps left a mark on Yturralde's work. As it happened to Sempere or Sobrino, also members of the group, geometry has been present in one way or another in his work, opening later to kinetic art with his series of "Impossible Figures." His entry into the Calculation Center of the Madrid University in '68 marks the beginning of his first computer work. This experience allows him to continue his exploration of forms with a methodology that is inspired by mathematical formulation and reveals the author's interest in optical games, chromatic distortion, volumes created by contrast and figures generated from pure geometry.

Reflections, tribute to Kepler, 1975-76. Lasers and mix technique

Another significant milestone in his career was his time as a researcher at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies under the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). In this period he began to experiment with laser light and refraction in faceted bodies, with a project entitled "Four-dimensional structures". The resulting works recover the aura of an abstraction based on recognisable rectilinear forms but add the mystery of the lights and shadows created by chance in unfathomable backgrounds of deep darkness. Yturralde experiments with new methods and techniques to further deepen the study of form.

Flying cube

After returning from the United States, his work opens to happening, installations and performances. This creative line coexists with its constant interest in geometry, now approached from another dimension. The forms leave the plane and become three-dimensional figures that cross the blue skies. Thus the "Flying Structures" are born as guided kites from the ground. Polyhedral designs in white, red, yellow... are both a vital event and the result of a constructive test that defies physical laws. This exhibition will include several of these structures never seen before, which will receive the visitor suspended in the space.

"Dice", 2015. Acrylic on cavas

From the 90s, Yturralde returns to the study of geometry and its relationship with colour. The "Preludes", "Interludes" and "Postludes" are presented as an analysis of chromatic varieties and the ability to generate volumes and contours with slight tone mutations. This painting is of enormous conceptual and formal purity and sometimes plays with that subtle tension between the framing and the unframing, the conscious search for a visual balance that forces the angles to the limit of bearable.

The exhibition is a tribute to this passionate of geometry that has dedicated his production to the study of simple forms and unfolded the high complexity that structures can hold. Besides, it will be the ideal opportunity to know the evolution of his work with a selection of more than 60 pieces, mostly large format, belonging to institutional and private collections that otherwise could not be visited.

 

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.