Ignacio Iturria

June, 21 - August, 05, 2016

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Acrylic on canvas. 2014. 99.5 x 132 cm

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1949, Ignacio Iturria is one of the most important contemporary Uruguayan and Latin American visual artists of all time. He studied art and graphic design in his hometown, and has exhibited his work at numerous international fairs, as well as at important art spaces in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the United States, Mexico, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, China, and Japan. Among the distinctions Iturria has received are those given out by the Uruguay Association of Art Critics; the Foreign Artist Award at the LXXXII National Visual Arts Salon, Argentina (1993); the Grand Prize at the Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (1994); the "Casa di Risparmio" Special Prize at the Venice Biennale (1995); and the Grand Prize at the XII San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Engraving, Puerto Rico (1997), among others. In the early 1980s, he settled in Cadaqués, Spain, where he says he learned to “paint in Catalan.” In 1986, he returned to Uruguay, where he used his dedication and intelligence to forge a universe in which man and his memory stand as the protagonists of a profound, sensitive reality, full of dreams and a great deal of playfulness; a world in which figures and objects are transformed into icons of our contemporaneity, exuding intimate bonds and personal memories. In the ‘90s, his career hit the international stage. Nowadays, Ignacio Iturria is recognized as one of the most sought-after and influential Latin American artists of his generation, leading to his reception, in 1995, of the “Casa di Risparmio” Special Prize at the XLVI Venice Biennale. This exhibition, to be presented by Galería Enlace Arte Contemporáneo, consists of seventeen recent works made between 2011 and 2015, mainly in medium and large formats, using oils and acrylics on canvas. Writing about the works from this series, the art critic Elida Román has said: “The work of Ignacio Iturria is a clear argument for painting and its possibilities. An open exercise in the quest for and mastery of a personal identity, a writing composed of images arranged and commanded by gesture, mark, impulse, delving inside oneself, and the expression of a unique, interior, inimitable world that is subject to the rhythm of his gestures and the arbitrary and reiterated organization of his associations, memories, and displacements in time, rendering them timeless, and progressively turning them into precious seals in which he is able to recognize and recreate himself. (…) When we speak of the artist’s conviction with regard to the possibilities of painting, the best example can be found in works such as El escenario (The Stage) or El ventanal (The Picture Window): the broad space of the studio, the tiny figure before the great polyptych, or the quotations of admired masters, images and signs shared with those from his own experience, opting for a kind of almost musical explosion that has no need for temporality or connections. It is a complex and effervescent universe, in constant animation and exchange, forming a mosaic with a chaotic but absolutely functional appearance, just like life and its experiences.” Of Iturria’s work, Pierre Restany has noted: “All of Iturria’s miniaturized figures have a familiar air. (…) But their small size allows them full-body access to a certain free-spiritedness and the use of their right to dream. The furniture in the spaces where they live are the infinite field of their ghosts. On the back of the sofa, they discover the changing face of the world’s phantasmagorias (…). The airplane on this trip is always ready to take off from the armoire and the cockroaches that emerge from beneath the kitchen sink are always prepared to take on the form of a caravan of mini-elephants. The corner of the shelf above the bureau is the virtual setting of all of love’s mysteries, all the drama of the greatest adventures, all of the epics of History. Such is the evocative force of life when it is conjugated in the ‘present indicative’ of urban existence.” The exhibition by Ignacio Iturria at Enlace will be open to the public through August 5, from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The gallery is located at Avenida Camino Real 1123, San Isidro. No entry fee.