Born in Montevideo in 1949, the son of a Basque immigrant, he took courses in drawing for advertising and began to paint soon thereafter, winning several awards in his home country. In 1977, he got married and traveled to Spain. He settled in Cadaqués, a city on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, where he worked with Ramón Aguilar Moré. There, he would "temper his expressionism, lighten his pallet, and transform line drawings into painting...," as he himself confessed.
In 1984, he returned to Uruguay, exhibiting in Punta del Este and then in Buenos Aires, followed by different cities throughout Latin America over the next two years.
In 1988, he was one of fifteen artists selected by the Fund for Artists’ Colonies of New York to participate in an artist’s colony, allowing him to spend three months in the United States the next year, together with artists from different countries.
In 1994, he won the Grand Prize at the Fourth International Painting Biennale in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. In 1995, he won the Cassa di Risparmio Award at the Venice Biennale.
In 2002, inspired by his experience at the artist’s colony, Iturria decided to open an art school, “Casablanca, arte en acción.” With the help of his brother-in-law, Néstor Piñón, who is the school’s director, and his son Nachoin the music department, he undertook this adventure that continues to grow to this day. The school’s overarching idea is to foster a connection between the different artistic disciplines: painting, music, dance, theater, literature, photography, audiovisual media, etc.
In 2004, he was invited to Guatemala to form part of the jury at the Fourteenth Paiz Art Biennale. He went on to work for a time in the middle of the jungle in El Salvador, where he formed a small artists’ community known as “Coatepeque.”
In April 2006, he moved back to Cadaqués, Spain, where he would spend three years painting in an enormous studio where he received constantvisits from other painters, both students and friends, who would stay for a time to paint with him.
In 2011, the Fundación Ignacio Iturria was created for the purpose of promoting the vocational development of artists, achieving his dream of creating an artists’ colony in Rosario, in the department of Colonia, Uruguay.
At: Biografía / Ignacio Irrutia iturria.com.uy