PELLO IRAZU AND THE RENOVATION OF BASQUE SCULPTURE

Pello Irazu The land that sleeps, 1986. Steel and oil 66 x 120 x 39 cm. Soledad Lorenzo Collection. Deposited at MNCARS © VEGAP, Bilbao, 2017

 

 

Pello Irazu (Guipúzcoa, 1963) is a Spanish artist of Basque origin. Known for his sculptural gifts, he also draws drawings and murals. Influenced by the Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza, the space and its influence on artistic practices is a reference in the renovation of the Basque sculpture of the 80s. One of the main characteristics of his work is experimentation with materials and search The emotion of the spectator rather than the image he projects.

 

 

Pello Irazu The good teacher (on the table being a piece of wood)

 

 

His sculptures alternate three-dimensional minimal proposals with object-oriented hybrids and large installations. Panorama is not only a sculpture exhibition, it also shows photography, drawing and mural painting. Irazu delves into the problematic between the multiple relationships between our body with images, objects and space. The exhibition has been articulated by the sculptor himself and part of a series of photographs taken by him. The germ of this exhibition is his first work in steel, which covers its strength with a layer of paint added.

 

 

The artist Pello Irazu (Andoain, 1963), before one of his works in the Guggenheim.

 

 

The wall, and its function before the spectator are two issues to consider. The mural painting and the location of the different objects give a new meaning to this literary construction. Already in the 90's, Irazu, moves to New York and begins to work with other materials such as plywood or plastic. These textures, perfectly represent the wink to the domestic spaces. Reconstructing everyday objects discontinuously awakens in the viewer a double feeling of affection and estrangement that changes the meaning of these objects.

 

 

Pello Irazu Feliz, 1988. Construction in steel and oil 22 x 22 x 14 cm. Private collection, Barcelona © VEGAP, Bilbao, 2017

 

 

Already in the year 2000 returns to Bilbao and initiates a new phase of production where it resorts to forms suggestive for the spectator that insinuate a feeling of familiarity, ambiguity and strangeness. An artist, turned in the innovation that knew to give a new air to the concept of the Basque sculpture. Now, he is recognized in his land, in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, until June 25.

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.