Geometric Abstraction


Texto para el catálogo “Yturralde”
Iª exposición en Madrid.
Galería Edurne, del 1 al 20 de Marzo de 1967

Born in Cuenca in 1942, José María Yturralde comes to this Madrid gallery to exhibit his latest works. His works are remarkable and therefore require deeper analysis than the one undertaken here.

The works of this young Spanish artist are based on the knowledge of the evolution of visual arts in recent years. In my view, such knowledge is most relevant for his well accomplished task.

The expansion and enrichment of Constructivist trends in this period is evident, their prospects being unquestionable. Reason and objectivity changed sciences, have changed art, and are changing our activities and consequently our way of being in the world. This transformation has given way to two different anthropologies, two radically opposed positions. In the art scene –the one of interest to us- we find strong subjugation to subjectivity and exaggerated objectivation. I do not think either of them are adequate, given their radicalism.

Remaining in a single state, seeking a balance between them –not a synthesis- is indeed difficult. It is the task of intelligent people with aspirations of power not leading to having the “political party card”.

Who dared say there is no room for poetry in Constructivism. How naïf! Here is the proof. Give an artist some elements, the purest, least emotional forms. Force an order upon him/her; let him/her act and you will see. These are the reasons why I like Yturralde: with a highly limited vocabulary and rigorous syntax, his plastic works are -if I may say so- so deep and divinely poetic as those by Gerardo Rueda and Eusebio Sempere, the representatives of the best lyrical Constructivism of Spain.


LINES: straight and curved lines.

FORMS: triangles; squares; rectangles; circles. From them he draws synthetic forms, like rectangles with curved vertices, or sectors that result from drawing four circles in a square taking as the centre of the circumferences each of the four parallelogram vertices. Spheres; parallelepipeds, preferably cubes; syntheses of the latter. Instead of acting like sculptures, these volumes are used to stress lines, planes, and lights.

COLOURS: black, dark grey, light grey, ultramarine blue, pale blue, emerald green, lemon yellow, orange cadmium, vermillion, white. In general, the colours have subtle nuances. Monochromatic paintings predominate. Only some exceptions present degradation or interpolation.

COMPOSITION: rigorous order and chaotic rupture. Time and space participate in the grouping and arrangement of the pieces –none of them being displaceable. A comparison could be made with repetition structures and serial systems.

Two more elements: light –coming from outside, providing variation, connected to three-dimensional issues- and viewers –who move about and so see different images. Technique, which plays an important part (described in the paragraph below).

TECHNICAL PROCESS: chipboards (“Novopan”) are used as the support, reinforced with wooden strips. The panels –superimposed- are raised and screwed. They are then smoothed with Prager. After successive coats and sanding, the rendering layer is prepared with paste (“Esmudine Titán” or matt white). Then, the necessary coats of the final colour are applied using a thick brush.

Thick card sheets are sometimes used. They are cut out and glued. They are prepared with synthetic paint, then sanded down, etc.

This technique and elements allow Yturralde to create deeply lyrical pieces. The scarce means, the purity of forms and volumes, the beauty of colours, the tidy structure, the "dynamism of immobility", and the technique are the factors behind his new and splendid poetry.