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.

 

One of the proposals included in the calendar of the “Art Madrid-Proyector'20” program was the organisation of several meetings with artists within the fair. This gave visitors the opportunity to get to know their work better and open a personal dialogue with them after the presentation of their last lines of work. From Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th of February, we had the participation of Abelardo Gil-Fournier, Fernando Baena, Mario Santamaría and Maia Navas, a group of creators who work with the moving image, but also with the installation, technological art, performance and video art.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier's work revolves around the hybridization between the real and the sensible. This artist and researcher approaches this question in his works from a perspective in which perception, image and material production merge. Both his artistic and research practice deal with issues related to land use and plant growth without losing sight of these three points of interest. This results in works that incorporate the presence of nature from various perspectives, sometimes as a space of experimentation in which to reflect on the connection between art and politics, the relationship of the human being with the environment or the criteria for landscape intervention.

During his presentation on Wednesday 26th, Abelardo told us about some of his latest projects, in which the presence of technology is key to offering an artistic interpretation of the individual's impact into the territory. All this affects issues such as agricultural techniques, the progressive deforestation or the exploitation of land resources. The result is colour-coded pattern drawings that break down the analyzed landscape and offer a more visual and technology-based reinterpretation of these human behaviours. In addition, in this meeting, the artist explained his work “The Quivering of the Reed”, an installation that mixes video image, sound and material elements, and that plays the role of mixing the sensory with the real.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier

Fernando Baena shared a talk with us on the afternoon of Thursday 27th. This artist has focused a large part of his work on performance, happening and video pieces, many of them designed to capture the result of the action and give the work a second life in a new format. The main subjects that monopolize his work range from the treatment of sexuality and gender issues, to migratory movements and the drama of refugees, the exercise of political freedom and thought ... all of them are far-reaching issues that Fernando addresses from a familiar approach, with the use of common materials and recognizable environments. Another of the characteristics of his work is the presence of Marianela León in many of his pieces, a performer who has been collaborating with Fernando for many years until becoming almost an alter ego of himself and starring in most actions that take place in public spaces.

In this meeting, Fernando was able to explain part of his creative processes and to highlight a key aspect to the performance artist: to understand the reaction of the public. In this way, the impact of a work conceived from the theoretical plane is also analyzed, the meaning of which can completely change depending on the viewer's perception. As he himself explained in the talk regarding his piece "Balsa":

"What started out as a performance with an established script ended up being a happening in which the public participated with sometimes unusual reactions".

For his part, Mario Santamaría, who was with us on February 28th, shared with us a completely different work from Fernando's. This artist is focused on the analysis of the use of data, the feeling of manipulation and lack of control over our information that is produced in the digital medium and the desire to transform into something real some ideas as ethereal and commonplace today as the use of virtual storage clouds, the location of web pages or the data flow over the Internet. Much of his work, documented on video or transformed into technological facilities, is a form of research on the impact of the digital medium on our daily lives. His desire to bring these terms to the material plane, which we handle in our language today without really understanding their meaning, has led him to visit server bunkers, storage warehouses, in addition to tracking the exact location of the servers that host his own website to find isolated places far away from humanity.

Mario proposed a material trip to this reality to demonstrate that we are facing a very fragile system, whose durability is sensitive to natural phenomena, as evidenced by some of the documentation work carried out, where he rescued images of wild animals entering these data centres and endangering the livelihood of the digital world.

Mario Santamaría

Finally, Maia Navas, recently arrived from Argentina, shared with us the afternoon of Saturday 29th in a chat in which she told us about her creative work as well as her experience at the head of Play-Videoarte, a festival entirely dedicated to this discipline that she co-founded in 2012, and that in these six editions has combined an annual exhibition with a program of activities that take place in the City of Corrientes (Argentina), at the Cultural Centre of the University Extension that depends on the National University of the Northeast (UNNE).

Maia has a degree in psychology, as well as a degree in arts and technology, and combine her artistic career with teaching. The impact of psychology among her work topics is evident, and some of her video works try to delve into disturbing and perplexing aspects of human behaviour, such as the series "Procedures" that we could watch during the presentation. In it, the artist portrays the daily lives of people affected by OCD syndrome with an excellent visual narrative that puts the accent, almost with a cinematographic vision, on the personal experience of this phenomenon.

Maia Navas, foto de Marc Cisneros

From Art Madrid, we want to thank all these artists for sharing their creative experience with us and giving us the opportunity to dialogue with them about their present and future projects.