That child who sat on the beach of Las Canteras wondering if he could shape the horizon was, over time, one of the most recognized Spanish artists in the world. Deceased on March 11, Martin Chirino (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1925-Madrid, 2019) left a legacy that now sees the light in the form of a memoir and a posthumous exhibition at the Malborough Gallery in Barcelona in the one that the creator collaborated until a few months before his death.
"When an artist has such a complete work and intellectual thought so well-armed, the only thing that time does is put it in an increasingly prominent place", explains Marta Chirino, Martín's daughter and also an artist, who explains the universality of Canarian creator. "His sculptures became part of all of us, they transcended art and society made them his own", says one of the people who knew him best, and who recalls his "slow" way of understanding art: "He got into his study, made his sketches, then met with his blacksmiths and thus launched his ideas. He was very demanding with his work and very perfectionist. In his idea of beauty, it was not worth anything ».
The exhibition 'Move the horizon' of the Malborough Gallery, which opens tomorrow, brings together eleven sculptures, a work on paper and four drawings of 1973 and also present to the public two unpublished pieces. One of them is 'Violoncello', the last piece that came out of his forge. «On his last birthday, Martin introduced us to his friends and family members 'Violonchelo', who struggled to finish days before he died," recalls Marta Chirino. 'Violonchelo' is a foreshortening based on fine joinery that gives continuity to a wide series that Chirino dedicated to music, another of his great passions.
Among the works that can be seen in Barcelona are the spirals, rotating symbols of the wind; two aeróvoros, that give appearance of lightness; several heads, the most figurative part of his work, and a work of the tribute series to the founder of Futurismo Filippo Tomasso Marinetti.
The book 'Sculpted memory' is the complement of the exhibition. Conceived as conversations between the artist and Antonio Puente, writer and journalist, Chirino defines himself as "a passionate stoic", a man who does not conceive life without passion and a "wandering and cosmopolitan solitary" who jumped from the Canary Islands to New York, passing through Paris and Madrid, and perhaps knowing that their only home was the workshop.
"Chirino is the contradiction made matter, an artist able to move between the local and the universal because he understands that without one can not exist the other, a rooted nomad, a man who turns something as coarse as iron into a light material", It summarizes Puente, which divides the personal and artistic existence of the grancanario creator with milestones such as his arrival in Madrid with Manolo Millares «with the post»; the incorporation in 1958 of the El Paso group, without which it is impossible to understand art in Spain in the 20th century; his trip to New York at the end of the 60s, where seeing the Hudson River "impels universality"; or the 80s, in which he stood out as a cultural manager in positions such as the presidency of the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, which he held for ten years.
The trajectory of Martín Chirino was glossed by multiple recognitions. He was awarded, among others, with the International Sculpture Prize of the Budapest Biennial, the National Prize for Plastic Arts, the Canary Islands Prize for Plastic Arts, the Gold Medal for Fine Arts, the Medal of Honor of the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid and the Prize Artes Plasticas 2003 of the Community of Madrid. He was also entertained by the Real Casa de la Moneda Foundation, by the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation and by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Nebrija de Madrid. His works are exhibited in prestigious museums such as the MET of New York, the Guggenheim of the same city, the Reina Sofia of Madrid or the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
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