The Galería Javier López is pleased to announce an exhibition of the latest works by one of Spain’s leading representatives in abstract painting, José María Yturralde (b. Cuenca, 1942). To coincide with its participation in ARCO, Madrid’s international contemporary art fair, the gallery is showing a selection of his most recent work in dialogue with pieces from his last two series, 'Postludios' (Postludes; 1998–2007) and 'Horizontes' (Horizons; 2008–2011).
The exhibition takes its title from Éléments de la géométrie de l’infini (Elements of the geometry of the infinite) published in 1727. In its preface, the distinguished academician Bernard Le Bouyer de Fontenelle set out the considerations related to infinite and infinitesimal numbers that ever since have inspired a range of geometrical speculations in the fields of mathematics, philosophy and art. In art, this has been seen particularly in how they are represented through use of perspective and the elements of the infinite, with a new turning point in the approaches of Cubism.
Since his formative years with the circle of artists centred on the Museo del Arte Abstracto Español, founded by Fernando Zóbel in the mid-sixties in Cuenca, and his involvement in the Valencian grouping Antes del Arte (Before Art), Yturralde has been interested in exploring the possible links between the languages of science and art. These early reflections on relationships in space-time were projected into Figuras Imposibles, images that earned him national recognition within the op art and kinetic art movements. His time at the Computer Centre of Madrid’s Universidad Complutense and MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies in the United States allowed him to deepen his research by using new technologies. His interest in introducing movement into his work led him to create Estructuras Volantes (Flying Structures), and with these he was chosen to represent Spain at the Venice Biennale in 1978.
In the mid-eighties he began the cycle of paintings that make up Preludios and Interludios, and which he brought to a close with the series Postludios—works from this last group are the earliest chronologically that are included in our survey Geometrías del Infinito. They present forms, often sharply defined squares, bounded only by colour, where the tonal variations overflow the limits of the canvas itself. Light and the void take on roles that bring an openness to the work and create a sense of the immaterial, a spirituality that refers both to the Romantic concept of the sublime and to the expression of a personal mysticism that characterizes painters such as Mondrian, Malevich, Albers and Rothko. More recently, the presence of the line of the infinite in his Horizontes defines the order of a space without limit.
Yturralde’s fascination with space, the void and energy in all their manifestations and all the approaches to understanding them—expressive, scientific or philosophical—continues to inform the artistic reflection in his current work. It does not attempt to illustrate the results of scientific observations, but rather to communicate the wonder of being able to look out and catch a glimpse of the fantastic spectacle of the world we are part of—from the infinitely small to the sweeping, accelerated cosmic vision of the surrounding universe, where dark matter and energy generate subtle spatial networks through which time and space flow in ways that were inconceivable until recently.
During his career, José María Yturralde’s work has featured in numerous exhibitions mounted throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. Nationally, he has exhibited individually and in joint shows at museums, galleries and foundations. Among these, highlights include the show at Fundación Joan Miró in Barcelona (1981), the retrospective at IVAM in Valencia in 1999 and Postludios at CAB in Burgos in 2005. His work forms part of many collections, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, the Patio Herreriano in Valladolid, CAAC in Seville and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.